“He really loves her,” Rose thought to herself as a tear trickled down her cheek. Behind her, Mickey was demanding to know how the Doctor was going to get back and how they were going to get home.
“Rose, answer me!” Mickey shouted, grabbing her upper arm and shaking her. “How is he going to get back?”
“He’s not,” she replied softly. “He’s trapped there.” She shook with a silent sob and wrapped her arms over her chest. Her hazel eyes went vacant as she stared dumbly at the place where the time window had been. Rose felt hollowed out inside, as if she had been cored like a cabbage.
“But he’s the Doctor,” Mickey groaned. “He’s got to figure out some way to come back and take us home.”
“Mickey,” Rose sighed. Her former boyfriend and still best human friend fell silent. “I’ll figure something out. Let’s just wait a bit and see what happens, okay?” She had to take command. She had to remain calm. She might not be some mighty Time Lord but she was still Rose Tyler. She’d think of something. Or the TARDIS would. Or the Doctor would. She scrubbed a hand through her frizzy blonde hair, wishing she had taken time to dry it out flat before meeting the most beautiful and accomplished woman on Earth. Next to Reinette’s poised beauty and grace, Rose had felt like a little girl with a runny nose dressed in filthy rags.
“We can’t fly the TARDIS without him…”
“Actually, we could,” Rose thought quietly to herself. She had only the vaguest of memories of how she had flown the TARDIS back to Satellite Five. She had a feeling that it would kill her to do it again but if the Doctor was trapped in nineteenth century France, she had to at least get Mickey home and then see if there was some way to rescue the Doctor. Maybe Reinette would come along as well. Rose snorted softly. Killing herself to rescue the Doctor and Madame du Pompadour so they could jaunt out among the stars. At least if she were dead, she wouldn’t hurt so much. But there was always a chance he would come back. She wouldn’t give up on him just yet.
“Let’s just wait a bit and see what happens, alright Mickey?”
“I suppose,” he sighed, scrubbing a hand over his own close-cropped head. His dark skin was flushed with a mix of anger and fear. “How long?” he asked.
“Until I’m certain that he’s unable to come back,” she snapped. All she wanted was to find some quiet corner where she could hide and go to pieces. The Doctor had left them – had left her. Granted, Madame du Pompadour was definitely a step up from plain old stupid-ape Rose Tyler but it still hurt. Mickey kept jabbering. His constant questions and raised voice was giving her a headache. Ignoring Mickey’s comments, Rose slipped silently through the TARDIS’s doors and knelt beside the console.
Rose? the TARDIS asked. Rose gave a start and looked around for the source of the voice. It’s me, the TARDIS.
“Oh, hello TARDIS,” Rose said, swallowing a sob. She stroked the control panel tenderly, fresh tears welling up in her eyes as she remembered how the Doctor used to twist the dials, push buttons, and pull levers to get them where he wanted to go. He was a madman in a pinstripe suit and trainers, his brown hair sticking out every which-way and his eyes filled with amusement. Rose had loved watching his eyes. They changed with his moods even back when he was a leather-clad, blue-eyed, big-eared and big-nosed biker-looking reject who sounded like he was from the North. His current regeneration, though, was more than foxy with heart-melting brown eyes, soft brown hair, and a way of looking at her that mad Rose’s knees go weak. “Are you all right?” she asked, wondering just how the TARDIS was handling the separation from her Time Lord.
Where is the Doctor? I cannot sense him any longer. The TARDIS sounded forlorn and frightened. Rose patted the console comfortingly.
“He had to rescue someone. Someone important to him,” Rose tried to explain. She forced her voice to sound more confident than she really felt. “And he’s trapped in a time and a place that isn’t his own. But, he’s the Doctor. He’s brilliant and he’ll find a way back here. So don’t you worry.”
He abandoned us, didn’t he?
“No, no,” Rose protested. “He didn’t abandon us.”
Rose…he did. If he hadn’t, I would be able to sense him and guide us to him…
“We’re going to sit tight and wait a bit,” Rose said firmly. “Then we’ll decide what to do, okay, sweetheart?” she stroked the console. “I’m not going to have to open you again, am I? We don’t have a big yellow truck handy this time,” she laughed softly. “That didn’t hurt you, did it? I never apologized for that.”
It didn’t hurt me, the TARDIS replied. I wanted you to do it to save the Doctor. And no, you won’t have to do that again. But Rose…it could kill you, trying to guide the Vortex. You’re human, not a Time Lord. It could kill you…
“That’s a risk we’ll have to take, if it comes to it,” Rose said in a tone that brooked no argument.
I don’t want you to die.
“We’ll wait a bit, then. If the Doctor doesn’t turn up, we’ll just…cross that bridge when we get to it.”
Don’t leave me, Rose.
“I won’t, sweetheart. I’ll stay right here with you the whole time…until the Doctor returns. We’ll be like sisters,” Rose laughed. An eleven dimensional telepathic creature that could travel through time and space and Rose Tyler, stupid ape from planet Earth as sisters was just too comical to imagine.
I always wanted a sister. the TARDIS giggled. Rose’s heart nearly stopped at that and tears of gratitude and love spilled down her cheeks.
“Me, too. Sisters, then?” Rose smiled through her tears as she reached up to stroke the pumps.
“Forever and always, sweetheart. Forever and always.”