The howling and destructive winds of Crandinia’s nightly storm had finally ebbed off into deathly calm. For the third day of the fourth week in a row, the Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS and into the darkened night to continue to look for the companion he’d lost.
Rose. Oh, his wonderful and beloved precious girl. She was out here somewhere, she simply had to be…. And Rassilon above, please let him find her.
He couldn’t hold out hope for her survival any longer. He’d given up on that after the first week of searching for her. Home after home he’d searched in desperate hope that somehow – just somehow – she’d been rescued from the storm she’d fled into on the night they landed on this blasted planet. Unofrtunately that wasn’t to be. Stalking the local health centres and hospitals yielded nothing at all. She wasn’t found by any search party – and he’d organized several of them.
But he refused to leave without her. Even dead with no hope at all of resurrection, even with the help of the Priestesses of Karn, he had to find her and return her to Earth.
His “marriage” had ended as abruptly as it had begun, which did hamper his search efforts on that first day. Rose taking off into the storm had fired something absolutely primal within him, and he’d completely lost it upon everyone in the house. Aggression was severely frowned upon by all on Crandinia – a very peaceful planet – and so an annulment was immediately filed.
The whole thing was a pathetic joke to begin with. One he had been looking forward to laughing about with Rose when they fled to the safety of the TARDIS after the storm. Okay, he hadn’t been expecting the whole consummation of the vows and pledge to sire a child during that first joining. That had blindsided him completely. And really. Just when did they change the laws of the land to indicate a smile and wave of greeting constituted a legally binding proposition toward an unwed Crandinian female in the first place?
It didn’t help that the female in question had only held him to the marriage because she absolutely did not want to marry the son of a neighbouring nation in order to secure a binding treaty that would open up their trading borders.
Fortunately, during the times that the storm rolled in, the Doctor was able to negotiate a very respectful and mutually beneficial treaty between nations. Really, Rose would have been proud of him.
..Rassilon. Where was she?
He was getting close to overstaying his welcome here on Crandinia. The locals were very swiftly finding his endless searching and questioning as to the whereabouts of Rose Tyler very tiresome. He was quite sure that they’d ignore their planet’s non-aggressive protocols and form a group to throw him in the TARDIS and order him gone.
But not without her, He couldn’t.
He clutched at his hair with both fists as he searched the arid lands around the original landing site for the TARDIS and walked around in great circles, calling out her name.
She had been so upset when she’d fled. So very upset and angry. Part of him – well, that is to say most of him – agreed with her anger and upset.
It was all he could seem to do to her over the months leading toward her disappearance. He didn’t know why this was happening to him; why he pushed and pulled and did everything he could to break her heart.
And by Rassilon’s wrath why would he even want to break it? His hearts beat for that precious pink and yellow human of his. They had beat for her almost immediately after meeting back in his last incarnation, they still beat for her just as strongly – if not more – for her now.
She was his anchor and his rock. She taught him to live and to love again when he though he was unworthy of both. How was he going to continue on without her?
He lifted his head and called out tearfully to her. He called again. Again. And yet again; so much so that his throat began to ache and his voice was becoming hoarse.
What was happening to him that he was acting out in the opposite manner than he should; than he wanted to? Why was he incapable of expressing his love for her as he had done so easily before now. The word was always there, right there on the tip of his tongue, but when it came to expressing it, saying it out loud, wanting to live it as passionately as he had done before his regeneration, the word fell away?
He lifted his head to the sky and called out to her again. “Rose Tyler. I …” he stumbled. “Rose. I L…” he dropped his head. Even without her being near and able to hear him, he was still physically unable to say it.
Why was it so impossible to say it; when it was so very very true? What force was holding him back from taking everything she wanted to offer, and giving her everything in return? Why was he pushing when all he wanted to do was pull?
…Why was he such an incredible twat?
If Braxiatel was still alive – and Rassilon he missed that fool – then he’d have a gilded page notarized by council explaining exactly why he was a twat.
He called out to her again, urging her to shout or scream or anything to let him know she was okay.
A splash of purple on a dusty ochre rock captured the Doctor’s attention. With a fast striding run, his heavy coat tails flaring behind him, the Doctor descended upon it. His eyes were wide, his teeth grit tightly together as he plunged his hand into the week’s old dumping of dust and rocks, to pull up a thin purple cardigan made of a fabric that was Earth made, and definitely not native to this planet.
His hands shook violently as he lifted the torn and bloody garment to his nose and he drew in a deep breath. Lavender and Vanilla. That was Rose’s favourite deodorant, and one that he made very special trips back to Earth in order to procure it for her when she got low.
He traced the tip of his tongue along a thin streak of blood and snapped it quickly back into his mouth to analyse and swallow. The taste of her, her very essence, filled his mouth and his awareness immediately. She had been here, at this very point, likely during the highest point of the storm. He looked around him in hope that there was a structure, anything, anywhere that she could have run to seek shelter from.
His hearts sank.
Nothing. Nothing for at least a mile.
He held the fabric to his face and broke. Great gulping sobs wracked the Time Lord’s shoulders and he fell forward onto his elbows, howling forlorn and lost and not knowing how he would ever carry through from here.
He only had two lives left. He could easily choose not to regenerate again – here, on the same planet that took her from him.
And maybe. You know what? Maybe it was time…
His TARDIS howled out a warning whine and groan, and for a moment the Doctor ignored her. He heard her pitch a whine again and snarled over his shoulder in impatience. “What?” His jaw fell and his eyes widened when a red headed woman wearing a white wedding dress stepped angrily out of the TARDIS.
“Where am I?” she growled threateningly at the landscape before her eyes fell onto him, still kneeling in the dirt, tearstained and barely holding on. “And who are you?”