rynne: (the tenth doctor)
[personal profile] rynne
Title: And Would Suffice
Author: Rynne
Fandom: Doctor Who
Rating: PG-13
Summary: The Doctor in Turn Left, and the choice he makes. Ten/Rose
Notes: Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] tsukara for looking it over. The title comes from Robert Frost's lovely poem Fire and Ice. Note that this is not a happy fic, and is rated for darkish themes.

The water is cold, and he can hear screaming.

He's numb, though. So very numb. Eleanor the secretary has long since run away, and he's glad. She's safe, even if her boss isn't, and now he doesn't have to worry about getting her out of here. He can stay, make sure the Racnoss are all taken care of.

The Thames rushes around him, but hasn't yet touched the fire in the background. He can feel the heat on his skin, a sharp contrast to the cold water raining around him. The river fills the hole in the center, and he closes his ears to the mother crying for her children.

He's so tired. He's just...so...tired.

But then her screams are cut off as the Empress teleports away, and he's left alone with the fire and the rain and the crashing of the river. Still he doesn't move. Instead, he sinks to his knees, clutching the railing and leaning his forehead against the cool metal. He closes his eyes, but is too tired to pretend that the moisture on his cheeks comes only from the water falling around him.

He thinks, as he's lately often thought, of what Rose would do if she were here, what she would say. How would she have reacted to what he's just done? Part of him thinks she would turn away in disgust, but most of him knows she wouldn't have. She never has. She just makes him take responsibility.

"What about you, Doctor? What the hell are you changing into?"

Oh, his Rose. She'd known the man he was and the man he wanted to be, and never let him deviate. And now she's gone, and he doesn't know how to be without her. The compass point whirls, no longer pointing true north.

His Rose would be so disappointed in him right now. First he drowns babies right in front of their mother, and now he can't even bring himself to stand up again, to walk the short distance to his TARDIS and get away from the water swiftly filling the room. She'd be horrified at what he's done, what he's doing.

But she's gone, and he's tired, and it's so hard to move. He lets out a short, choking breath, then breathes in the taste of water with his air. He thinks idly that if he doesn't get up and move soon, he's never going to do it again.

He's pretty sure he should be disturbed at finding that prospect attractive.

The water's almost reached his spot on the stairs, and he knows he has to make a decision soon. He's never drowned before, but he's pretty sure it wouldn't be a pleasant death, and he's usually weak enough after regenerating that he might not be up to fighting his way to the surface again. He'd probably just drown over and over again, unable to reach the surface no matter how hard he fights.

Ironically, that seems such an appropriate metaphor for his life right now. He lets out a brief, rusty chuckle, but one with no humor in it.

And what would it matter, if he just stayed here? The universe could get along without him, and probably better than before--too often he's brought suffering and death to those he only wanted to help, and dragged innocent bystanders along as well. How many people would live, if he weren't around to interfere?

And he will never see Rose again. If he heeds the water lapping at his feet, if he stands up and walks away, then all he has to look forward to is life without Rose. He'll never hear her laugh again, never see her smile, that wide, brilliant smile with her tongue occasionally poking through her teeth. He'll never again hear her say his name, or watch her sleepy blinking as she tries to stay awake and keep him company for as long as she can before she has to rest. He'll never be able to take her hand again, never feel the warm, solid weight of her in his arms, her own arms around him as they squeeze each other tight. And he'll never be able to tell her what he feels for her, never see the look of joy he just knows would have been on her face if he'd ever been able to tell her how much he loves her.

Then Time will do the inevitable, what even he cannot stop, and he'll begin to forget her. He's never forgotten anyone he's ever traveled with, never will, never could, but as years and decades and centuries pass, the details blur. How long before all the little things that make up Rose are beyond even his memory to recall? He can't bear the idea of losing even more of her than he already has.

If he leaves, he looks forward to a life filled with death, suffering, and no Rose at his side to ease the pain of things he couldn't save. But if he stays--oblivion. No more pain, ever again. He doesn't even have to regenerate, can stop the process from beginning and just prolonging things.

The water is up to his waist now, and it's cold. So cold. But that's all right. He's numb, barely able to focus on something so external, and he knows that it won't be long before he'll never feel cold again.
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