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End of the Road 1/4

Title:End of the Road 1/4
Authors: glory_jean & achuislemochroi from a concept by 2cbetter2
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: S3, Gridlock Remixed with Rose Tyler
Summary When the Doctor decides to take Rose on a trip down memory lane trouble follows.
Notes: A huge thank you to alizarin_skies for the beautiful banner and icon and to mrs_roy for roping us into writing this. ;) Gridlock dialog referenced from Doctor who transcripts 2005+
Disclaimer: Based on characters owned by the BBC, used unofficially and not for profit.








“Good morning.”

Rose makes her way around the console to join the Doctor, and he smiles up at her.

“Good morning.” Looking back at the console, he punches a few more buttons for effect. “So ... anywhere – or anywhen – you fancy going today?”

She watches him work his magic for a few moments, considering, before she speaks.

"Can we go to your planet?"

In that instant, she knows she’s said the wrong thing as she sees the Doctor stop what he is doing, freezing in place almost, and his shoulders droop as he leans over the console like she has physically struck him.

Concerned by the sudden change in him, she continues speaking, her words piling out on top of each other fast and hasty as she clarifies her request. She wants him to know that she’s not as insensitive as she’s just made herself sound.

"I know you said your planet burned and all, that your people are dead; but I thought since this," she says, patting the console as emphasis, "is a time machine, we could go back before all that happened to them ...?"

At this the Doctor is in motion again, all arms and legs and graceful movement around the console, and as she watches him she thinks that somebody seeing him now who didn’t know him would never have known anything had bothered him.

"Ah,” he cries, “but why would we want to go there, when there are so many other places in the universe I wanted to show you first?" She thinks the disappointment she feels is clear in her expression, because he continues. "Oh, maybe we'll go visit one day, but not today."

Something doesn’t feel right; she knows this because she knows him, but she can’t yet identify what. So she studies his face for a few moments before, still concerned for him, she slides alongside him to take his hand.

“All right. One day, then. But tell me, though – what was it like?”

Again, for a moment, there’s that frozen silence. His expression is unreadable.

“Was it like some of those places we’ve been to? Towers, and cathedrals, and all that?”

She tries not to flinch as his eyes move away from her to focus on a point over her head. For a long moment, she thinks he isn’t going to answer ... and then she feels his hand tighten around hers, and he begins to speak.

“The sky's a burnt orange.” His voice is soft, matching the far-away look she sees in his eyes. “With the Citadel enclosed in a mighty glass dome, shining under the twin suns. Beyond that, the mountains go on for ever – slopes of deep red grass, capped with snow.”

He falls silent, then; she holds her breath, afraid to speak and hoping he’ll say more. But his mood changes and he’s moving again, hands seeming to blur over the controls.

“I know exactly where to take you!” he exclaims, grinning at her and his eyes dancing with excitement. “This is much better. Here we go, then!"

She sees him press a button, and the TARDIS suddenly shifts; both of them need to grab at the console to keep themselves upright.

They land soon afterwards. Letting go of the console, it doesn’t take Rose long to ask the obvious question.

"So, where are we?"

“Let’s see if you can guess.” The Doctor throws her a mischievous grin. “Year five billion and fifty-three, fifty thousand light years from planet Earth! Second hope of mankind! One of the most dazzling cities ever built. ‘So good they named it twice.’“

“New New York!” she exclaims. This is a first for him, bringing her back somewhere they’d been to before. “What’s going on this time?”

Shrugging himself in to his long coat, the Doctor extends his hand towards her.

"I don't know. It's a surprise. Come on!”

Hand in hand, the two of them run out of the TARDIS into the pouring rain; Rose gasps a little as the shock of the cold water hits her. Shivering, she pulls her jacket closer around her.

“Come on, Rose; a bit of rain never hurt anyone! Let’s find some cover.”

@}-,-‘-


In a dark, long-forgotten room near the Senate are a restless single cat nun and, still in his large tank, the Face of Boe. Evidence of cannibalised technology is everywhere around them: loops of cabling lead from screens and consoles that quite clearly began existence as something else.

The Face of Boe speaks.

“He has arrived.”

“What should I do?”

“Find him. Before it's too late.”

-‘-,-{@


The Doctor and Rose find themselves in a grey and somewhat grimy street that’s littered with junk and filled with a number of what appear to be some kind of large green bins. Rose is first to speak.

“This doesn’t look much like New Earth to me. Are you sure you got the date right, Doctor? ... Or the planet, for that matter?”

“Oi, Rose Tyler, that’s rude! And for your information I’m perfectly sure about both time and pla— Hold on!”

Interrupting himself, he moves to an inactive screen on the wall and quickly runs his sonic screwdriver over it. There is a hiss of static and the Doctor pounds on the top of it with his fist. The image of a woman slowly appears.

“– and the driving should be clear and easy,” the woman is saying, “with fifteen extra lanes open for the New New Jersey expressway.”

The two of them watch as the screen changes to show the spires of New New York towering over a body of water with flying cars speeding around it.

The Doctor turns to Rose.

“Ha, ha!” he says, his voice smug. “You see? This must be the lower levels. Down in the base of the tower, some sort of under-city.”

Rose knows she should be annoyed by his gloating, but something about his glee is infectious and she can’t hold back a smile.

“So; change of scenery, this time?”

His smile broadens in return.

“And why not? Much more interesting! It's all cocktails and glitter up there. This is the real city.”

“All right, then,” she says, humouring him as she rubs her hands over her damp sleeves, trying to keep warm. “Where to now? At least the rain’s stopping.”

“Yup! Just gets better and better!”

A crash behind them makes them jump; turning, they see that what they had thought were bins are in reality street vendor’s carts.

The man in the cart nearest to them leans out and looks at them.

“Oh! You should have said. How long you been there? Happy! You want Happy!”

His cry is echoed by the other vendors:

“We're in business! Mother, open up the Mellow, and the Read!”

“Anger! Buy some Anger!”

“Get some Mellow, makes you feel all bendy and soft all day long!”

The man who had been first to speak looks disapprovingly at the others.

“Younger, them,” he says, his tone confiding. “They'll rip you off. Do you want some Happy?”

The Doctor frowns deeply.

“No, thanks.” At Rose’s questioning look, he explains. “They are selling moods.”

Before he can elaborate, they see a pale, slight woman enter the alley. Ignoring the cries of the vendors, she’s focussed on one in particular.

“I want to buy Forget.” There’s a melancholy tone to her voice, dull and defeated.

“I've got Forget, my darling,” the vendor assures her. “What strength? How much you want forgetting?

“It's my mother and father. They went on the motorway.”

“Oh, that's so sweet.”

The transaction is made, and the sad woman moves away with a small disk in her hand. The Doctor intercepts her.

“Sorry, but – hold on a minute. What happened to your parents?”

“They drove off.”

Rose tries to reassure her.

“But they’ll be back soon, yeah?”

The woman turns her eyes to Rose; the sadness in them appearing to go fathoms deep. Whatever has happened to her parents, Rose knows instinctively, it isn’t good.

“Everyone goes to the motorway, in the end. I've lost them.”

“But they can't have gone far,” the Doctor protests. “You could find them!”

The woman looks thoughtfully at them both for a moment; then, before they can say a word, she presses the disk to her neck and immediately her expression changes. She looks innocent and happy, but unfocused.

“I'm sorry, what were you saying?”

The Doctor is grim.

“Your parents. Your mother and father. They're on the motorway.”

“Are they? That's nice.”

Every scrap of her previous unhappiness has been wiped from her voice – as is, as Rose slowly realises, all recollection of what she’s lost.

Rose looks from the woman to the Doctor and back again, horror clear in her expression.

“But you said— You can’t—”

Rose reaches towards the stranger, but the Doctor catches her hand and shakes his head.

The woman wanders off.

“You can’t help her, Rose. That’s the chemical talking now.”

Rose lets go of his hand and walks a few steps further, unwilling to let it go quite so easily, before she turns towards him, tearful and fighting to comprehend what she’s just seen.

“What’s going on? Was it always like this, Doctor, and we just didn’t see?”

He’s quiet for a few seconds, trying to find something he can say to comfort her, when a man and a woman, both wearing dark clothes and holding guns, appear out of nowhere behind Rose. The man grabs her from behind, pressing his arm to her throat to stop her from crying out as he drags her away. The Doctor automatically moves to stop him, but the woman steps in front of him, pointing the gun at his face.

The man shouts over to him.

“I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry. We just need three, that's all.”

The Doctor is beside himself.

“No! Let her go! I’m warning you, let her go!” He can hear the desperation in his voice as he pleads with them. “Whatever you want, I can help. Both of us, we can help. But first you’ve got to let her go!”

“I’m sorry; I’m really sorry. Sorry.” The woman, this time, and despite the complete insanity of the situation he hears the tears clearly in her voice and wonders at them.

Rose struggles hard, but caught off guard and off balance she is pulled away from the Doctor in an instant. The three of them vanish through a large green door that slams shut behind them. The Doctor shouts out in frustrated anguish and begins to fight with the door, trying to open it.


Next part

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
alizarin_skies
Sep. 3rd, 2010 06:00 am (UTC)
Ooh, this is shaping up as a very nice start! Looking forward to more :D
glory_jean
Sep. 19th, 2010 06:31 am (UTC)
Thanks! We hope the rest lives up to this. :)


(Next part is up now.)
glory_jean
Sep. 19th, 2010 06:32 am (UTC)
And PS: thanks again for the banner. I've found looking at it to be good for the muse! :D
emraldeyedauter
Sep. 9th, 2010 04:40 am (UTC)
Oh my, okay it was dramatic with Martha but even more so with Rose. Wonder if the doctor can be so forgiving.
glory_jean
Sep. 19th, 2010 07:05 am (UTC)
Think there will be more oncoming storming with Rose in danger, yup.
mrs_roy
Sep. 19th, 2010 08:33 am (UTC)

Oh, Doctor.

Amazing. I wouldn't expect any less from you two!
glory_jean
Nov. 17th, 2010 07:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :) Now if we can just get it all posted. ;)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )