Broken Hearts and Tattered Dreams by time_lady

Summary: While walking home one day, Rose Tyler meets a homeless man in the park. Set post-Doomsday. The two of them have nothing but broken hearts and tattered dreams to mend.
Rating: All Ages
Categories: Fourth Doctor, Tenth Doctor
Characters: Rose Tyler, The Doctor (4th)
Genres: Alternate Universe, Hurt/Comfort
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Published: 2009.05.10
Updated: 2009.05.11

Broken Hearts and Tattered Dreams by time_lady
Chapter 1: Something about him just wasn't right.
Author's Notes:

The first thing that Rose Tyler saw as she walked home from the store was the homeless man with the ridiculously long scarf sitting on the park bench. Curious, she went over and sat down next to him. She couldn't help it. There was something compelling about this curly-haired stranger whom she'd never met before.

After a few minutes of debating whether or not to talk to him, she said, "Hello."

The man turned to her. He looked to be in his late forties, possibly, but there was something in his eyes that hinted that he was far older. And he looked sick, like he'd been on drugs. (Rose shivered. There was always the possibility that he had, and that he was a drug addict, and....) "Hello," he replied.

"You look like you've had a bad day." Immediately Rose wondered why she said that kind of remark to a complete stranger.

The man laughed - hollow and insincere, like he was holding back something. "I've had far worse than that. More like a bad century." As if he'd just now taken notice of Rose's looks, he added, "I had this friend, once. She looked a lot like you. Well, the hair at least." He sighed. "But she's gone now."

"I had a friend, too," Rose said, remembering all those great times she had with the Doctor. "He was one of the most charming people you could have ever met. And he was cute, too. We'd go all across the universe, saving planets, fighting monsters--"

"--and being pretty sort of marvelous?" the man finished for her.

"How did you know that?" she asked.

"Oh, well, I used to do that same sort of thing. But it was all before the war came."

"What war?" asked Rose, intrigued.

"A war that wiped out my people. I'm the last one. We were fighting a war, and we lost." He stared at her, as if he was trying to get some unspoken point across.

Rose could have just felt uncomfortable at his staring at her, but she didn't. She was used to staring at her Doctor, and drooling, and him staring back, so she didn't. Instead, she *unconsciously!* reached over and took his hand. Definitely a Time Lord, though how he and the Doctor could be the last Time Lord together at the same time, albeit in two different universes, she had no clue.

He brought her back to reality. "What's your name?"

"Uh, what? Oh, Rose. It's Rose."

"Thank you, Rose," he said, getting up. "Thank you for helping me feel better. I needed someone to talk to. I like people who can listen to a strange man in a ridiculously long scarf and not feel bad about it." He laughed again. This time, it was very merry and youthful. That was what had been missing.

And he walked away.

A few seconds later, Rose got up, too, and went in the opposite direction.

She heard a noise from behind, one that she had never forgotten. But by the time she came racing back, the thing that had made that sound was gone.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.

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