this is now a mandatory reblog for Monday
hOW IT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED
doctor and rose au - period drama
And left unsaid some things he should have spoken,
about the heart, where it hurt exactly, and how often.
They meet at the illustrious Powell Estate, during one of her mother’s glamorous spring picnics. He is an esteemed professor of physics at Oxford, a most eccentric scholar of astronomy and engineering, a genius with years in his eyes and hope in his smile. She is the first child of Peter and Jacqueline Tyler, the heiress of the fruit and nut corporation Vitex, and a graduate of the Torchwood Institute for Girls. They are Doctor John Smith and Rose Marion Tyler, and it is quite certainly love at first sight.
It is 1914, and Europe is on the brink of calamity and bloodshed. In a matter of months, the Archduke of Austria Franz Ferdinand will take a bullet to the jugular. In a matter of months, the political tension between European powers will snap. In a matter of months, young men will sacrifice their lives with nationalistic pride.
But to the Tylers, it is simply little Anthony Tyler’s fifth birthday. And so, as always, the party commences.
The Doctor is engaged in a gripping game of tennis with one of Miss Tyler’s many cousins, a promising student of his named Matthew, when he spots her by the fountain. Loose blonde hair left down and wild, a mane of gold to run long fingers through. Honey-dipped eyes under long lashes—would they tickle his cheek if he pressed his lips to hers? Goodness, would she even turn her eyes to his tired body?
Stuck in rather ungentlemanly fancies, he misses the next serve and loses the match. When he chances another glance in her direction, she is gazing at him in a most curious manner.
A deliciously curious manner.
There is dancing and drink after the servants clear plates and silver away. A young American lad is leading her through a delicate fox trot—or at least until he lifts her up into the air and spins her around, his great smile only widening as she shrieks, “Jack!”
Her mother tuts with a hidden smile from where she is sitting with some of the other esteemed ladies, but the Doctor only has eyes for this golden girl with her head thrown back and her delighted laughter and her waist wrapped in some other man’s arms.
Most indecently, he’d suggest, were he the sort of man to make such judgments.
(The thought occurs to him that, were those hands his own, he’d be far less offended by their impropriety).
He dances with a young French woman—one of Miss Tyler’s friends from Torchwood—and though she’s beautiful and well-read, it’s Miss Tyler’s laughter on the breeze that puts the extra spark in his steps.
She disappears for a bit and the world seems a little less kind.
But then there is a bright light glowing and Rose Tyler holds a cake, and Tony jumps out of Jacqueline’s arms to dash over and blow out his candles.
The Doctor feels a soft touch on his arm and finds her standing beside him with a plate full of cake. “I don’t think we’ve been introduced,” she says, a knowing grin flitting across her lips. The thought crosses his mind that he should be surprised at her forwardness—most ladies of good breeding certainly do not break from societal norms just to speak to a ragged professor of science, after all—but then, if forwardness isn’t exactly what he’d expect in a moonbeam like Miss Tyler.
“Smith. Erm. Doctor John Smith. I work at—”
“—Oxford, yes? Cousin Theodore raves over your lectures.”
He flushes at the praise. “Does he? Well, Mr. Prentice is an excellent student. No doubt he will be a brilliant engineer one day.”
“None of it ever made any sense to me,” she confides, her arm slipping ever so naturally through his as they begin to walk around the courtyard. “Science and maths, I mean. But I always loved astronomy class.”
“Of course!” he beams, heart full with something akin to excitement. “There can never be anything as wondrous as the notion of the universe. What untold glory lies out of reach, what spectacle! The sheer weight of knowledge we humans have yet to unlock stuns me on a daily basis, Miss Tyler. I’ve never met a person I liked who wasn’t fascinated by the stars.”
She grins up at him and his eyes fixate on the playful slip of tongue against her teeth. “Do you? Like me, I mean to say.”
He feels his heart flutter dangerously inside his chest. “I—”
“Roooooooooooooose!” The whirlwind that is one Tony Tyler, cake smeared across his cheeks, runs into her and pulls at her beige skirt. “Rosie Rosie posie, Rose Rosie Rose—”
“—sorry, I didn’t catch that,” she says to the Doctor over the bouncing child.
“Little red Rosie, left to go for a mosey—”
“—I said, I think I do.”
“—she went to town, and married a clown, and dinosaurs ate poor Rosie!”
“Are you quite finished?” Miss Tyler grumbles and runs a hand through her brother’s ginger curls. “Go be a menace to Jack.” The boy needs no encouragement and heads off to find the American man he’d seen her with earlier.
She makes a long-suffering face and frowns. “I’m sorry about him. He’s five, after all. No doubt that tutor of his has gone off with the gardener’s daughter again. Oh,” she clapped a hand over her mouth. “Forgive me, that was wildly unseasonable for me to say.”
He laughs and shakes his head. “You are unlike any woman I have ever met before, Miss Tyler.”
“I daresay you have not met the best of my side of the species then.”
A passing waiter offers champagne. The Doctor doesn’t tell her that he rather thinks he has.
“And it’s Rose. None of this Miss Tyler nonsense. It’s not my status you’re respecting, it’s my parents’. I’m just Rose. When I make my own way in whatever it is I do with myself, then you can call me Miss Tyler. For now though, just Rose.”
“Well, I hardly doubt you’re just anything.”
Out of the corner of his eye, he catches Rose smiling into her champagne glass.
She cycles to his office at the university for astronomy lessons. He teaches her the best he can, and in return she reads him her stories.
Rose Tyler is a writer. While she never took a fancy to mathematics, she found a great love of Carroll and Wells during her education. And as she tells him this during a late lunch on the grounds, a flicker of uncertainty mars her complexion.
His heart clenches at the thought of Rose having a lick of self-doubt.
“Do you know what I think?” he asks. “I think there’s a science to words. Equations and algebra, even. Some words sound absolutely rotten together. Some, when combined, are just… extraordinary. Heartbreaking. Profound. In the same way that a pair of molecules can interact and create a compound, words have the power to come together and create something vastly beautiful.”
He cups her cheek in his hand and thrills at the feel of her leaning into his touch. “In my humble opinion, the man who says a woman cannot comprehend science as a man can has a poor understanding of science. And well, even my humblest of opinions are far more substantive than those of most in my field.”
Her laughter fans a spark in him until it burns, roaring and wild. A beast in the pit of his stomach.
A bird in flight.
The powder keg blows.
The boys take arms.
He stays behind in objection. Some take this as cowardice.
Rose sees the pain of loss and trauma in the lines around his eyes and calls it courage.
Summer turns to autumn and he takes Rose on as his aid. In truth, he finds himself utterly captivated by her, and the moments in which they are separated, when she is with her family and he his numbers, are the cruelest.
This is longing, this is the best sort of heartache.
The Doctor has loved before but never like this. For she is a youthful thing with no need for the world-weary man left broken and alone by a dead wife and child.
It is only when she gives him the fob watch that he begins to see the danger in loving Rose Tyler—she will almost certainly return that love, tenfold.
“It’s an old relic of my family’s. Just a brass thing. It holds strong, ticks on steadily. It’ll serve you well, of course, even if it is plain. But it has sentimental value, and perhaps that is greater than gold.”
Many years later, the fob watch rests in his breast pocket as the casket lowers into the ground.
Rose opens him up in increments. She asks after his past, political stances, general thoughts on, the like.
He tells her about his family. About the fire. His young wife and child scorched flesh in a skeleton of home. She runs to him, wraps her arms around his neck and weeps with him.
In Belgium, thousands of soldiers asphyxiate under the toxic grip of chlorine gas.
It’s on the seventh anniversary of the deaths that he pushes her away, frightens her with cruel words and the best of intentions. Tells her that he doesn’t want to go through the pain again (and that is the truth of God); tells her that she is far too young to grasp the meaning of pain and grief (never have falser things been said).
And so she stares at him, soft eyes somehow seeing through his facade like she knows him, like she sees him for the man he truly is.
He yells at her to leave and she listens. Ever knowingly, she listens.
Her father sends her to his company grounds in Madras.
She hands the Doctor her letter of resignation the day before she’s set to travel and begs for him to keep in touch. Were he any less of a man, he’d beg her not to leave him.
She can hear the desperation in the words he does say and wrenches him to her with a strong grip on his lapels, lips soft against his as he eagerly yields under her siege.
They make fierce love on his desk. Her hands pull at his trousers and his hair with abandon, her teeth brush his earlobe, tongue imprinting itself on his as he watches her—feels her—come undone around him. He follows her with a shout and imagines that she’s murmuring about love and birds and hope as he clutches her so desperately to him.
He does not see her away at the station the next morning. He cannot bear to watch her roll out of his life, smoke billowing and dissipating behind her.
She doesn’t expect to him come, but she hopes nonetheless.
The crushing weight of disappointment settles into her chest as she boards the coach.
Letters come and go. The war rages. He thinks of her, in India, living a life full of adventure and mystique, learning Tamil culture and embracing it with the feverish glee she once saved for him. He knows because her letters brim with vibrant stories of life in Madras, of her proper and devout housemaid Chirapathi with her leather-thick dark skin and her ginger dosa, of visits with Captain Jack Harkness under the shade of Jujube trees and sipping fresh mango juice while teaching English to Chirapathi’s daughter Tisha.
Often she writes about how she longs for him, how she wishes they’d had more time, and he replies with soft, hushed words of guidance, of you’ll be back soon enough and I shall pick you up from the station and pepper you with kisses. Less often, she writes about how she thinks of him while pleasuring herself, how she gasps his name with her fingers inside herself, how she’s never desired a man quite the way she desires him. He keeps those letters in his worn but sturdy blue briefcase.
But still he works, and still he hopes. She will return on wings of metal and rust. She will come home to his arms, she will lie beside him and share adventures with him, she will be his and he hers. He prays to her for she absolves him and loves him, and she instills in him the sort of faith most leave for God. He has no use for God anyway—his faith has always rested in his mind and his work—but his precious Rose is ultimately his deity and his body her temple.
I believe in her, he thinks as his eyes shut each night.
And then, for a time, the letters slow. Her gentle script shaky and heavy-handed. The stories a little less alive.
He sleeps poorly. It is the quiet worry of what is to come.
When the letter comes, it’s almost as if he always knew. Five little words—
they say it spreads through the water
—and he can barely breath, because the child Tisha has died and Rose was tutoring Tisha and living with Tisha and Rose cannot die.
He’s never cycled faster in his life, getting to that train station. He’s got his briefcase in hand and his bicycle dropped God-knows-where, and he’s relatively proud of himself for staying calm enough to pack his bloody pants.
By rail, the trip feels like a lifetime in limbo. He knows that a lifetime without Rose will feel much, much worse. The fob watch in his hand tick tick ticks away at the seconds left of her life.
She’s slipped into her sickness by the time he does arrive. She’s moaning and vomiting and good ol’ Jack is beside her, holding her hand, and he hates her for the little sweat beads dripping into her nightgown, for the tears leaking out of her closed eyes.
He hates because love has abandoned him again, has left him alone and he’s by her side at that thought, because she is alone, because she is in pain and he loves her.
Oh, how he loves her.
The next morning he awakes to his Rose murmuring in her feverish sleep and the pitter-pattering of rain on the roof.
He’s on his knees, praying like a dying man, when Peter Tyler walks through the door.
“Captain Harkness said you had arrived last night. I hope your travels were not too exhausting.”
“I had very little to do but sleep, sir.”
Mr. Tyler raises a brow. “You could sleep?”
A heavy moment passes, and then—“Not for one second.”
“And Doctor Smith, might I ask why not?”
“Because…” He frowns. “She is all I could think of. All I can ever think of. Sir.”
When finally she wakes, he’s reading her his own stories. Stories of madmen in blue boxes and traveling the stars in search of honor and justice. Stories of countless friends and a girl with blonde hair that reflects the sun.
Of worlds between a love so strong.
Childish fancies, but they keep him young.
“My Doctor,” she whispers. “I thought I’d never see you again. I thought—I should have died.”
There is a pounding in his chest at her words. Shaking his head most emphatically, he wipes a sweaty strand of hair from her forehead. “No. No, you must trust that I shall always come for you.”
She lets out a teary laugh and nuzzles into his hand. “She died in my arms, Doctor. Dear little Tisha.” Rose is crying in earnest now. “I learned so much from her. Papaya jam, curries with lentils. She showed me Madras, the exquisite culture of this place. I miss her.”
“But I missed you, more than you can ever know.”
He gazes at her for a moment and then shakes his head. “Oh Rose.”
The sun sets over the estate, a chill spreads through the house. Chirapathi dresses in black.
Lights go out. Lovers cling to one another in slumber.
The war rages.
I can’t rest, I can’t fight
All i need is you and I
A New Clip from the Day of the Doctor [x]
DW 50th Anniversary Intro & Trailer
"I’m looking for the Doctor"
- “Well, you’ve certainly come to the right place.”
Am I ever going to see you again?
But look what you did!
# it hurts me # because usually by this point in a companions arc # aka at the end of their season # they believe in themselves # theyve traveled with the doctor and theyve done and seen such amazing things # and in doing so they realize their own potential # their own skills # but donna # despite everything shes done # saved a family in pompeii # freed the ood # solved murders with agatha goddamn christie # saved the doctor from himself #despite ALL OF THAT # she still thinks shes nothing special # because her entire life thats what shes been told # she has never been able to see just what a remarkable person she truly is # and the doctor is so surprised here # because he can see it # clear as day # hes seen it for a long time # and what kills me about donnas ending # isnt just that she loses her memories # she loses him too # her best friend in the universe # the one who listened #even when she wasnt shouting (via yaccbs)
A night of fitful dreams full of endless corridors of locked doors and John pulling her away whenever she thought she might have been close to the Doctor and now she was reaching out to John’s freckled cheek without the slightest inhibition. When she finally touched him she felt not guilt or fear, but warmth from the inside out and she had to wonder where exactly this sudden feeling of comfort had come from. (pt.1)
The Art of Being Human by Sapphire_Child
Doctor Who AU: The Tenth Doctor tries to figure out who exactly Clara Oswald is to him in the future.
#i always wondered why he just didn’t say no #he could have said ‘i can’t’ #there really was no need to tell her all this #cause she would have believed him #but i think he mostly said it for himself #cause he had to remind himself that he shouldn’t #because he was so tempted to do it #or maybe he told her #so she could say something brilliant #say something to make this a bit more bearable #and she says ‘so’ #and it makes them both smile #and she’s still rose #and if there is still a rose somewhere he can keep going
The cuttiest couple in the world.
The Day of the Doctor