Seed Pearls by HonorH



Summary: When all Rose's memories of the Doctor are stripped away from her, she knows something is terribly wrong--but occasionally, just occasionally, the universe gives back as much as it takes away.
Rating: Teen
Categories: Ninth Doctor, Tenth Doctor
Characters: Jackie Tyler, Jackie Tyler, Martha Jones, Mickey Smith, Mickey Smith, Other Character(s), Other Character(s), Pete Tyler, Pete Tyler, Rose Tyler, Rose Tyler, The Doctor (10th), The Doctor (9th), Torchwood, Unspecified Companion, Unspecified Companion
Genres: Action/Adventure, Het
Warnings: Explicit Sex
Challenges: None
Series: None
Published: 2007.02.03
Updated: 2007.02.28


Seed Pearls by HonorH
Chapter 1: Forgotten
Author's Notes: In Which Our Heroine Loses Something Important

“Time heals all wounds, or at least that’s what humans say. It’s not true. Time has wounds of its own, in reality. And outside of reality, for that matter, but that’s not something you often have to worry about. To stay on the point, time itself can be wounded, and the universe with it.

“How? Generally, it happens in the way that flesh becomes wounded. Two things that are not supposed to encounter each other, at least not in a particular place or time or way, intersect, and a wound is created. Sometimes several wounds. A knife is a fine thing, and so is a finger; however, put the two together, and, well, I’m sure you see where this is going.

“So it is with time and the universe, and Rose Tyler. There was nothing inherently wrong with her new universe, nor with her. In fact, I’d say a great deal was right about them. Nonetheless, they were not supposed to come together. Mickey and Jackie could slip in because versions of themselves had been present in that universe and conveniently died, leaving something like placeholders. In Rose’s case, only a Yorkie had existed in her stead, and a human and a small, yappy dog are hardly the same thing. Hence, the wound to the universe.

“Perhaps that was one reason Rose felt compelled to stay with me–because she knew, on some level, that her presence on the other Earth would be unwelcome. One reason, mind you; I know of the others. Rasillon’s shorts, I’m not that thick.

“Back to the wound. You’re probably asking yourself at this moment why, if I know all of this, would I have insisted Rose go? The answer is very simple: it was a wound, but not a mortal one. No one would die, the Reapers wouldn’t descend, the universe wouldn’t tear itself to pieces, and most importantly, Rose would be safe and alive. It was a wound that would heal of its own accord.

“Yes, the universe heals itself; you’ve no idea the problems you’d have if it didn’t. Actually, you wouldn’t exist, in all likelihood. It’s similar, in a way, to how the human body heals. The wound is cleaned out, dead tissue cut away, and then the natural healing processes can take over, leaving a scar. The body, however, remains sound.

“It can, as you might imagine, be quite painful.”


***

Less than a month after Bad Wolf Bay, Rose realized she was losing her memories.

She’d actually been losing them before she noticed. Small things had slipped away from her, things she didn’t necessarily think about and would likely have lost anyway.

She only came to realize her memories of the Doctor were fading when she tried to tell one of her co-workers how she’d met him. For so long, she’d been able to remember, with crystal clarity, the feeling of his hand grabbing hers and his voice telling her to “Run!” Now she couldn’t, and she knew she should. She spent half the night racking her brain to try to dredge up any memories of that night. She even tried asking her mother and Mickey, but they couldn’t seem to recall what she’d told them.

As she tried to chase down that memory, she came to realize that months of her life now existed in her mind as Swiss cheese, full of holes. She couldn’t remember the sound of her second Doctor’s voice, or the color of her first Doctor’s eyes. She couldn’t remember the things he’d said, the places they’d been, the people they met. The name of the handsome American they’d met–when? Where?–eluded her. How the Doctor had changed and the events surrounding his regeneration were gone.

In their place, she was suddenly remembering a childhood with both parents. The Powell Estates flat became a series of increasingly-nice houses, and the meaningless jobs were replaced with society functions and A-levels. Rather than being forced through a dimensional breach, she had grown up there and learned about Torchwood after the Cybermen attack.

And she knew it was all wrong.

The thought drove her to despair and halfway to madness. She tried to write down her remaining memories of the Doctor, but they fled just ahead of the words she wanted to put on paper. It was no good asking her mother or Mickey, either; they didn’t understand what she was talking about, and they’d forget she asked within minutes.

Finally, one day, clinging desperately to the last shreds of her life with the Doctor, Rose refused to get out of bed, sobbing until she fell into an exhausted sleep.

When she awoke, she couldn’t remember what she’d been crying about.

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