“I wanna see the creation of the Earth!”
The Doctor isn’t surprised by Rose’s arrival (her steps are resonating loudly in the empty halls of the Tardis) but he is surprised by her request.
“That’s unexpected,” replies the Doctor. “What brought this on, then?”
“Well, because we’ve seen the end of the world, right? Now I wanna see how it all started!” Rose answers immediately. Someone’s been preparing the arguments for choosing their travel routes.
“Why the creation of the Earth, then?”
That throws Rose off balance. He smiles kindly and raises eyebrows, urging her to continue. He loves listening to her ideas, indulges them, nudges her to share even though she thinks her ideas and opinions are silly.
“Err...to balance things out, I guess. You know, the end there, the beginning here.”
“That’s not what I meant, though. Why Earth and not the Universe?”
Rose purses her lips, contemplating the answer. Her head cocks slightly to the left. There’s a faraway look in her eyes.
The Doctor is waiting for the penny to drop.
While she’s pondering, he offers a small clue.
“The Earth is just a small part of everything,” when he sees her lips form a perfect “o” in surprise, he grins manically and lures her closer to him, “I can show you the formation of the Universe, Rose Tyler!”
Rose looks like she’s only just realised that the world is wider than just the Earth. He can’t blame her for that. She is the picture perfect definition of the early 21st century, and her whole life before meeting him was concentrated on one planet, one island, one city even. So, it is only natural that the world, the Universe, was just the Earth in her understanding.
His companion is hypnotised, drawn in and tempted by the proposal. The Doctor can’t help bopping her nose gently. Rose is just too sweet for her own good. Yes. It’s entirely her fault that he wants to act like a sentimental fool when she’s around.
Rose looks up at him, startled, then gives him one of her brightest grins. “I’d like that, Doctor,” she replies enthusiastically.
“Your wish is my command, Rose Tyler,” the Doctor declares proudly.
Rose will never reveal just how much this sentence affects her. There’s a pleasant warmth spreading through her chest, and she feels like floating. Rose blesses gravity for existing. If it wasn’t for it, Rose would surely fly away into space through the walls of the Tardis.
No man has ever done anything for Rose just like that. No one. Boys cajoled and bribed her to get a kiss or a quick pawing session, Jimmy bought her flowers and cheap chocolates and stole trinkets to win her forgiveness after a row of ugly name-calling and to get into her knickers. Mickey was nice enough, he never hurt her; on the contrary, he was kind if slightly absent in their slow, steady, uneventful relationship. Oh, he’d shower her with baubles and meaningless gifts on celebrations, he’d buy her sweets and cards with silly writings like “You stole my heart so I steal your chips” but it was mostly because he felt like he was supposed to do so, not because he truly wanted it.
Rose didn’t blame Mickey for the slight carelessness of their relationship because she did a lot of things in their relationship because she felt like she needed to, not because she wanted to, too. Rose bought presents and arranged small celebrations and anniversary dinners, she bought fancy lacy lingerie on sale in “Henrick’s” (she could afford it only when the set of bra and knickers were on sale and with her worker’s sale, also), she never complained in bed and cheered Mickey when he was playing footie and rolled her eyes and placed hangover pills on his nightstand after Mickey was out like light after a rowdy match-watching.
“Your wish is my command”, however, implied that things were done for Rose without anything asked in return. Honestly, nothing was asked of her since she stepped her trainer onboard the Tardis aside from following the Doctor’s instructions and being actually present during the travelling trips.
Really, though, Rose was suspicious a lot at first. She was waiting for the other shoe to drop for days after she had permanently moved into the Tardis, moved in with the Doctor. The thought of that, of time and space travelling with a gorgeous bloke still made her giddy and she smiled, biting her lower in a vain attempt to hide her exuberant happiness (Rose didn’t know that the Tardis was broadcasting her positive feelings to the Doctor in the moments when he felt guilty for ‘tainting’ Rose with his presence and his lifestyle).
So, the first night that Rose spent on board the beautiful Tardis, she slept fitfully, half expecting a night visitor although the door to the room appointed to her had a lock and Rose locked it. The Tardis was humming soothingly, making her relax, making her sleepy and when Rose wondered if the apparently telepathic ship was in kahoots with her pilot to lull her, the Tardis emitted a very insulted-sounding hum. Rose blushed to the roots of her hair and offered a sheepish “Sorry, Miss” and the Tardis chimed contently at being called such a respectful term.
When Rose asked the Doctor as to what she should call the Tardis and if it was okay to call the ship “Miss”, the man laughed gleefully and gave Rose a one-sided hug before telling her to address Tardis as she would address her girl friends.
From there on Rose did exactly that. She called the Tardis ‘girl’, missing the word ‘old’ because let’s face it: no female ever likes to be called ‘old’.
Also, Rose started to sleep better and better as days and nights came by. If the Doctor had noticed her jittery behavior and lethargic moods in the first mornings of sharing the space together, he didn’t comment on it. He was there, though, always with a strong cup of sweet milky tea prepared for her appearance in the galley.
In the end, Rose shrugged it off and blamed it on the Doctor being an alien and doing things differently from the human blokes. She couldn’t help but admit that she might not be the Doctor’s type, after all (it stings). Maybe he preferred brunettes or redheads, maybe he liked thinner or plumper women than Rose was, maybe he wasn’t attracted to females at all - how would she know?
Although Jabe was very much a female for all that Rose noticed. But she was also an alien, both to her and the Doctor, and she was from a respectful family and was refined and educated, which was a far cry from who Rose was.
The thoughts that swirled in Rose’s mind were beginning to be too depressive and hurtful, and Rose promised herself a long time ago not to dwell on points that made her less attractive and desirable in comparison to posh educated women around her when she was seventeen.
She rarely followed that promise (as it often happens to promises made to one’s own self) but she tried to do so when she started travelling with the Doctor.
Beggars can’t be choosers, in the end, why should the Doctor’s reason of ‘employing’ Rose bother her. She had to cease the chance and to prove herself to be worthy of being his companion. For as long as possible because, let’s face it: girls like Rose didn’t hold the attention of impressive blokes for a long period of time (Rose wasn’t sure how long it’ll take for him to understand just how plain and not bright she was).
Carpe diem and all that jazz that the girls on the Estate tattoo on their wrists after receiving their first paychecks.
That said, her wish was granted, and Rose found herself standing on the precipice between the yellow-toned warmth of Tardis and the endless yawning of space. There were no stars, no planets, no galaxies. Rose always imagined the space to be full of light, that’s how cosmos was portrayed on posters in school and in big encyclopaedias in her nana’s flat.
There is total blackness now, however. No colour. No light. No sound (apart from the Tardis’s calm hum which is deafening to her ears in contrast). Rose has no words, only questions.
“How are we breathing?”
“The Tardis blocked the atmosphere in her so that we can breathe and actually enjoy the show”, the Doctor answers, “she protects the oxygen in the air and the temperature. It’s far from pleasant outside.”
Rose only nods, gobsmacked. The Doctor smirks, content with her awe.
“How...does it go exactly? The start of the Universe?” she asks quietly, reverently.
The Doctor starts explaining.
“Depends on what you believe in, I guess. The religion followers believe that it was God who created the cosmos and matter, the light after the darkness, the Earth after all planets. There's also the Steady State Theory that suggests that the Universe and the matter it is made of can neither be created nor destroyed and only expands with the passage of time. The Perfect Cosmological Principle. It was proven to be wrong, by the way. Now, if you aren’t happy with these theories, there’s another one. The Plasma Universe. According to it, the Universe is made of Plasma and is crisscrossed by electric currents and magnetic fields. Also, let’s not forget about the Dark Matter which is heavier than visible matter roughly six to one and that theory about the existence of the parallel world made exclusively out of dark matter which is nothing like our world. It's not true, either. The theory mostly accepted by everyone is, of course, the Big Bang Theory. ”
Rose’s lips are opened and form a surprised ‘o’, she gasps like a fish and queries in a rush:
“Are there no parallel worlds, then?” the Doctor enjoys her astonished curiosity and thirst for knowledge immensely. That’s why he loves travelling with a companion.
“On the contrary, Rose, there are endless parallel worlds that can be almost mirror reflections to our own and the ones where things are much, much different from the reality of this Universe.”
“Wow,” Rose breathes out reverently.
The Doctor grins toothily. “Now, the show’s about to start,” he comes closer to his companion, ready to provide comfort when she needs it. Watching the Universe form is as dramatic and impressive as observing the end of one’s world, after all.
The flash of light and the vastness of hot waves is blinding. Rose jumps, worried, ready to cower, but the Doctor takes her hand and tells her, “Relax, Rose, nothing can touch the Tardis, remember?” and the girl relaxes slightly, gripping his hand, still alert. The world around them is yellow and red and orange, and the Doctor adds something about hot soup filled with electrons and other particles, then about something forming neutrons and protons. Three minutes later it’s still too hot for the atoms to be created and there’s no light at all (the Doctor said that electrons and protons prevent it from shining).
“The Universe now is a superhot fog and will continue being so for the next 300.000 years,” he adds softly, risking a glance at Rose.
Her eyes are impossibly big and shiny, the brown colour of her irises almost invisible in the darkness of cosmos. The expression on her face is of shattered one, there are tear tracks visible on her cheeks in the dim light of the Tardis and she clutches his hands desperately, as if afraid to fall.
Rose feels so small…so insignificant...who is she, what is humanity, what are the Earth and the Milky Way in comparison to this greatness?
“Here she goes again! I show her the beginning of the Universe and she cries just as she did when she saw it end!” the Doctor tries to make her smile. He wonders now if it was a good idea at all to show Rose something so great and extensive early into their travels. She’s a very young, excitable 21st century human, after all, and she’s been through so much this past week.
Rose chuckles wetly and takes a shuddering breath but smiles nevertheless. Surprisingly, the Doctor procures a package of paper tissue out of the pocket of his jacket and brandishes it in front of her face, smiling goofily, trying to cheer her up.
“Dry your eyes, Rose Tyler, the Universe has only just begun its existence. It was 15 billion years when it was 2005 on Earth, and it’s got many, many more years to live.”
Rose accepts the paper tissue, wipes the tears and blows her nose in an unlady-like fashion, but neither the Doctor nor she really care. They continue looking at the swirling mist in front of them, their silhouettes, joined at hands, illuminated by the diluted glowing of the Tardis.
Who cares about manners when you’ve just witnessed the birth of the Universe?