wishiknewwho: (sad Rose)
[personal profile] wishiknewwho
Title: You're So Worthy
Author: wishiknewwho
Rating: PG
Characters: Ten / Rose
Dislcaimer: I don't own Doctor Who and it's probably just as well that I don't because it'd be nothing but hugs and hair ruffling for the foreseeable future.  Title taken from "Guns + Horses" by Ellie Goulding. 
Spoilers: None 
Summary: It's not enough, but it's all she can offer him.
Beta:  Just Word Spellcheck and me on this one.  Not sure which of us is worse.
Author Notes: Angst wears the other half of my BFF necklace.  This is what happens when [livejournal.com profile] salimali goes out of town and there is no one to stop me.  Written for the song challenge at [livejournal.com profile] then_theres_us.



I must become a lion-hearted girl

“Raise It Up” by Florence and the Machine


I wish I could be it all for you

If I could erase the pain and maybe you’d feel the same
I’d do it all for you, I would

“Guns + Horses” by Ellie Goulding
 
 
The Doctor sits on the floor of the damp prison cell, his head buried in his hands, and Rose leans against the opposite wall, watching him cautiously.
 
“I’m going to have to kill him,” he says finally. “There’s no other way.” The words hang thickly in the air between them, words that bow his head even closer to the floor and words that send an acute pain through her heart.
 
“Surely there’s another way,” she says. “There has to be something we can do to stop him.” Her argument is feeble, she knows that, but she has to make it all the same.
 
He lifts his head slowly and his eyes rise to meet hers. There is resignation there, mixed with anger and shame. “I wish there was, Rose.” 
 
She’s only heard him sound this broken a handful of times before and she hates it, can’t bear to see him hurting like this. She doesn’t respond, just crosses the metre and a half of floor between them and kneels in front of him. She takes his hand and rubs her fingertips over the back of his hand, trying to convey in the simple gesture how much she sympathises with him, how much she cares. It’s not enough, but it’s all she can offer him. She presses her forehead to his and they breathe quietly together, spending a few moments in peace before he does what he has to do.
 
They have been here for almost three weeks by her best estimation. They landed in the middle of a resistance that had no chance of succeeding. The rebels are few in number and have little resources. The man in power is evil of a sort Rose has never witnessed, even in the Daleks. He is cruel, killing for his own sheer joy. She has seen more blood in the past three weeks than in all of her time with the Doctor put together.
 
The Doctor had tried to work his magic, had guided the band of rebels as best he could, but his efforts were futile. Each day brought only more of the torture, of the murder. The group of rebels were quickly dwindling, and just the night before she and the Doctor found themselves captured and thrown in prison, awaiting a death penalty that would be enforced just as soon as the sun rose and the emperor was ready. He’d heard of the man called the Doctor, the man who was responsible for the rebellion’s few minor successes, and he wanted the pleasure of killing him and his companion for himself.
 
Eventually Rose moves away from the Doctor and shifts to sit next to him. “What do we do now?” she asks, her hand still tightly clasped in his. His hand has latched on to her and refuses to let go, not that she minds at all.
 
“We wait,” he says grimly. “You should try to get some sleep.”
 
She wants to laugh at the ridiculous proposal. There’s no way that she’ll be sleeping when in just a few hours they will either be murdered or be murderers. But she does as he asks, letting her head fall to rest against his shoulder and closing her eyes tightly, assuring herself that they will think of something.
 

~o~

 

Rose jerks awake at the grinding of their cell door as it opens, the sound of metal on concrete harsh to her ears and leaving her with a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. Rough hands wrench her away from the Doctor and haul her to her feet. She barely has time to glance at the Doctor and see that another guard is handling him just as roughly before the hands at her shoulders shove her forward and she stumbles out of the cell and into the corridor. She tries to look back at the Doctor again, but she is forced forward.
 
“Keep moving,” the indifferent voice says.
 
She swallows thickly. This is it. Whatever is going to happen will happen in the next few minutes; their fate will be decided. She always thought that when this moment came her mind would be running rampant with thoughts, remembering fleeting moments from her childhood, her mother, her father, Mickey, the Doctor’s hand, always so firm, so sure in her own. But instead her mind is blank. She tries to think of these things, but she can only focus on putting one foot in front of the other.
 
And then there’s a flurry of movement and a sound so loud that it makes her ears ring. Momentarily deaf, she sees the Doctor’s mouth move in the shape of the word “run” as he does something with the sonic screwdriver. She tells her legs to move, but her eyes are fixed on the guard unconscious at her feet. His arm is bent awkwardly, his fingers curved loosely around his gun. Without thinking, she grabs it up and slips it into her pocket. She forgets about it seconds later when the Doctor catches her hand and pulls her down the corridor at a furious pace and her mind gets tangled up once again in the slap of her sneakers on concrete and her heart pounding in her ears.
 
He pulls them into a tiny storage room, puts a finger to his lips as he listens for the sound of someone chasing them. It is stuffy in the claustrophobic room and sweat gathers at the nape of her neck. She holds her breath, only letting it out when he removes his finger and nods that they are safe.
 
“I want you to go back to the TARDIS,” he says, his voice quiet but firm.
 
She shakes her head. “No,” she says. “I’m coming with you.” It’s a familiar song and dance between the two of him, and she wonders if he’ll ever get it through his thick Time Lord skull that she’s never going to be that girl that waits in safety while he puts his life at risk. She’s terrified, of course, but whether he intended to or not, he’s taught her a thing or two about facing her fears.
 
His eyes narrow and he fixes her with a look that he usually reserves for the fiercest of enemies. “You don’t need to see this, Rose. You don’t need to be part of it.”
 
She gives him a look of her own, the one that never fails to get her exactly what she wants from him. “Unless you think you have time to drag me back to the TARDIS and lock me inside, I’m coming with you.” She sets her jaw.
 
It’s a battle of wills, their breaths mingling and their eyes refusing to give in. But he sighs as he always does and she wins as she usually does as he motions for her to follow him back into the corridor. “Stay behind me and keep quiet. If I tell you to close your eyes, close your eyes,” he says. “Understand?”
 
She nods, but she doesn’t make any promises.
 
It’s a short walk to the emperor’s chambers. She can tell that he’s nervous; his steps aren’t as confident as they usually are and his hand keeps going to his pocket to finger his sonic screwdriver. She wishes there was something she could say to make it better. This won’t be one of those adventures that they skip and laugh away from; instead he’ll come away with more blood on his hands. Something tells her that no matter how many he kills, no matter how justified he is in doing so, it’s never going to get easier for him.
 
The emperor’s door unlocks under the blue light of the sonic and she stays close behind him as they creep inside. The emperor sleeps peacefully, and Rose feels angry at his audacity, so sure in his power that he has no one guarding his door. If only there had been more time, more people willing to pull together, ending this man’s tyranny would not have come to this.
 
The Doctor swallows as he lifts the screwdriver. She’d heard him say once that it couldn’t actually kill anyone, but she knows better than that. “Close your eyes, Rose,” he says quietly, putting his other hand up to hold her behind him.
 
Tears burn her eyes and her chest aches with love for this man who is doing something he hates for the good of people he doesn’t know and still manages to care enough to shield her from something terrible. 
 
The pilfered gun presses cold and heavy against her thigh and before she can think she grabs it and fires one, two, three shots into the chest of the sleeping emperor, his body jerky with each impact. She only stops when the Doctor wrestles the gun away from her.
 
“What have you done?” he whispers as the tears leak from her eyes.
 
“I couldn’t let you kill him,” is all she can say. It won’t be enough for him, but it is enough for her.
 
There are sounds of movement outside the door, sounds of soldiers hurrying to their dead emperor’s aid, growing closer by the second, and he pulls her from the room. “We have to go,” he says, his voice hollow and perfunctory as they race out of the castle and through the streets to the TARDIS.
 
If earlier her brain was too empty, now it is too full. Murderer, killer, destroyer, the words slam around in her mind until she has a headache. Minutes ago, someone was alive and now he’s not and it was all her doing. The gravity of what she’s done leaves a weak feeling in her legs, and she trips over her own feet.
 
“Come on,” the Doctor barks out, his grip on her hand tightening and his pace speeding up. She wonders if he’s punishing her for what she did. Maybe she deserves it.
 
He only lets go of her once they’re inside the TARDIS. He doesn’t look at her as he puts the ship in motion, pulling levers and pressing buttons with none of his usual joy or finesse. She falls to her knees, gasping for air, clutching at the painful stitch in her side. The ship lurches into the vortex and Rose gets to her feet.
 
The Doctor is still looking at the controls and she can see that his hands are shaking as he pushes them into his pockets.
 
“Doctor,” she says, and everything feels so different. She’s been afraid of him before, once when she played with the timelines, but she’s never felt the terror she feels as she waits for him to look at her. He only takes the best, he’s said it time and again, and he’ll likely send her home for this.
 
He steps toward her slowly, as if she is something dangerous, as if she’s become something for him to fear. “You shouldn’t have done that,” he says. His voice is no longer hollow, but thick with emotion. When she doesn’t respond, he goes on. “Killing someone, even someone who deserves to die, changes you, Rose. I never wanted that for you.”
 
She doesn’t have a response for him; she knows he’s probably right. It’s a regret that she’s going to have to live with for a long time, maybe forever. She wipes at her wet cheeks and forces herself to meet his eye. Her lips tremble and she wishes she could tell him the truth, how she would do anything for him, how she hates more than anything to see him hurting, how she wishes she could take away all his pain. How she regrets killing that man, but at the same time she doesn’t. “I never wanted it for you either,” she finally says.
 
“Oh, Rose,” he says, her name a sad sigh as it passes his lips. He closes the space between them and wraps his arms around her, holding her so tightly she feels like she can’t breathe. But she doesn’t ask him to let go, because it feels too good. Relief that he is not going to leave her overwhelms her, leaving her dizzy and drained.
 
After a long time, he pulls away from her and presses his lips to her forehead. She closes her eyes. “Go and get cleaned up,” he says gently. “Meet me back in here after you’ve rested.”
 
She nods and heads toward her bedroom to do as he’s asked.
 

~o~

 

Rose returns to the console room a couple of hours later. After a shower and a restless attempt at sleeping, she only feels marginally better than she did before. The Doctor waits for her on the captain’s chair, his hair damp and his shirtsleeves rolled up.
 
“Come here,” he beckons, and she lets him lead her down the ramp to the door.
 
“I didn’t feel us land,” she says.
 
“That’s because we didn’t,” he says.
 
She frowns, the mystery distracting her from the terrible feeling that’s been perched in her stomach ever since she squeezed the trigger. He opens the door, stopping her from going outside. She realises that they are hovering above a planet. “Is this?” she asks and he nods. It’s the planet they just left.
 
“It’s ten years in the future,” he says, moving her to stand in front of him, but wrapping his arms securely around her.
 
She looks down. She can’t tell much from their height, but things look peaceful. There are large buildings, most a warm red brick, and there’s a green patch that appears to be a park. It’s a far cry from the place they left. 
 
“I still wish you hadn’t done it,” the Doctor says, his breath on her ear making her shiver. “It should have been me. But I wanted to show you that things work out. After the emperor’s death, the rebellion grows and grows and eventually they take over. The people are in power now, and they are flourishing.”
 
The tears come again and she doesn’t bother wiping them away. She lets her head sink back to his chest and he kisses her temple. “Are they going to be okay?” she asks.
 
“Yes, Rose,” he says quietly. “What you did, it began a very long time of peace for them.”
 
She nods. It makes it a little better. “I’m sorry,” she says. She doesn’t know who she’s apologising to, but the words need to be said.
 
“I’m sorry, too,” he says, his arms tightening around her. He’s taught her to face her fears, but he’s also taught her that some things are better off buried. They can only move forward. They watch the planet below them for a few more moments and then close the door and set off on another adventure. 



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wishiknewwho

January 2012

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