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Doctor Who (Ninth/Tenth Doctor).
For [ profile] jmtorres. Spoilers through The Parting of the Ways. PG?
"The parts of her whole, the TARDIS, Rose, cannot, will not stop surviving, stop persisting in the face of all reason, all cost."

It should be more surprising, when it happens, than it is. It should feel alien and wrong, gold and too-much. Instead, there is a wholeness where there had been broken, partial pieces that did not know they were broken.

She can hear the TARDIS in her head, feel her in her bones, sense the spin and hurtle of time, the eddies of possibility, as the the air around her sparks gold and she-TARDIS weaves spacetime around her, neatly rewriting an otherwise unavoidable death.

And then she collapses and her last thought is 'I can't give this up again.'

The Doctor watches her carefully, as she comes out of it. The Doctor, her Doctor. He wears too many faces for her to make sense of, at first, odd and flat abstractions that make her head hurt. She squints, visualises in five dimensions, and suddenly he looks right again.

She remembers.

She'd half-remembered a few things that she couldn't possibly, had inexplicable flashes of deja vu when the Doctor dropped the occasional tidbit of personal history, but she had not remembered.

"Doctor," she says and her voice is deep and gold. She does not ask how. She knows, and he knows.

"Well, this is... not good," he says, worriedly.

"No," she says answering him before he speaks, her personal timeline jumbling around her . "I can't. I... Doctor," she whispers, faint and almost lost in the sheer vastness of time.

"Rose," he says, "you have to let it go. I don't think I can take it from you this time."

"No," she whispers again.

There was another way, she remembers now, that she let him take away. She was afraid of change, of not being Rose anymore, and she wouldn't have been.

She is not Rose, now. She is something else. Someone else. And she is not sure that Rose can survive a second loss of this magnitude, much less a third, or fourth. The scars in her mind are gone, healed and whole for now, but they will be deeper and more destabilising each successive time--and there will always be another time. The parts of her whole, the TARDIS, Rose, cannot, will not stop surviving, stop persisting in the face of all reason, all cost.

She is dying, of course, for Rose's form cannot bear her entirety for long. But she is alive for long enough and there is another way.

Her Doctor looks at her, anguished. "Rose, you can't keep it. It will kill you."

The air around her sparks brightly as she presses a kiss to his forehead. She feels the gold burning through her veins, hot and liquid. "My Doctor," she whispers. "I am not Rose, anymore. I am something more and something less. Not a god," she smiles, "but with the powers of one. And I choose..."

another way.

She burns brighter and brighter, gold and green and yellow and white, brighter and brighter, washing out into all the universe, rewriting it all again, weaving the threads of space and time and possibility again into a thing that never was but could have been.

In her last moments, she watches what will (most likely, could be, probably not) happen: the Doctor, rubbing at his face, fragments of light still dancing behind his eyes. Crouching over her body. Rubbing his eyes again, not believing. Taking her wrist and staring, as her double pulse registers.

Not Rose, of course.

But not unlike her, either.
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December 2012

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