by Faile Neume [Reviews - 4]

  • All Ages
  • None
  • Angst, Drama, Hurt/Comfort, Standalone

You hear Rose giggling and from the sound of her footfalls you realise she is skipping, which makes you raise an eyebrow in curiousity but she has been in the wardrobe room so who knows what she has found.

As she enters the room she pauses and you know she's looking at you but you don't turn away from the console just yet.

You feel something in the back of your mind and it's the Tardis and she sounds like she's... growling? But everything is fine console-wise and you're fine and Rose is fine, well she should be, she's right behind you.

So you turn to look at Rose and both your hearts stop and they leap into your throat and you feel like you can't breath and you're breathing too much and you understand what the Tardis was trying to tell you.

Because Rose is standing there grinning, her hands absentmindly playing with the hat on her head.

And the clothes are a little too small for her but she doesn't seem to notice and she smiles wider.

"Look what I found! Why on Earth do you have this on the Tardis? I can't imagine it being much use," Rose asks.

You can't say anything because your tongue's stuck to the roof of your mouth and Oh Rassilon - you can tell this has got you all flustered because you're crying out to a god you never even believed in.

Rose is still standing there, looking at you and the smile is slowly fading as she waits for your response because she doesn't realise what she's done.

"Doctor? Is something wrong?" Rose wrings her hands anxiously and she looks downcast, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have put it on."

She looks on the verge of tears because you know she tries so hard to please you and this is just something she doesn't understand.

She turns to leave but suddenly you're there infront of her and now it's her turn for her heart to stop.

"Ro - " you start to say a name but it catches in your throat as you struggle over whose name you were even saying.

She doesn't say anything, just looks down and her hair and that stupid wonderful hat covers her face and suddenly all you can see is blonde hair and those clothes and your knees go weak.

Your hand trembles as your softly stroke her hair and Rose looks back up you and it breaks the illusion as easily as the look in her eyes breaks your hearts and you make a sound that's almost like a whimper.

Rose looks almost terrified and you realise you must have that look on your face that she calls the Oncoming Storm and for a second you're almost drawn back to reality but Rose just looks so much like her that you still can't breath.

Almost too forcefully you grab Rose by her shoulders and now it's her turn to whimper because you're scaring the life out of her but you can't make yourself stop.

Very, very slowly you trace your hands over the clothes, and Rose is holding her breath and your respitory bypass system kicked in a little while back because you still haven't managed to draw a breath.

You close your eyes and touch the hat, running your hand along the brim and you take the hat off.

Eyes still closed you lean forward and softly kiss Rose on the lips but you're not kissing Rose because your eyes are closed and all you can think of is blonde hair and those stupid clothes and Paris all those years ago.

Rose is shaking and you're shaking and you can taste salt and you don't know if it's you crying because you feel like you're dying or Rose crying because you've scared her half to death or Romana crying because she couldn't win the war.

You pull away and Rose stumbles back and you both look at each other, her eyes are wide and yours are cold. You press the hat into her hands.

"Take it off," your voice is hard and a little part of you feels sorry for Rose, "and don't ever touch it again."

Rose stands still for a moment and then turns and runs out of the room.

You turn back to the console and clutch the edge tightly.

You don't see Rose for the next day.

Neither of you ever utter a word about what happened.