Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or its characters. That honor goes to people far cooler than myself.
AN: So…hello new fandom! I just started watching Doctor Who a short while ago and I'm hooked. And I also ship Doctor/Rose because well…does it need saying? One of my favorite episodes for them is "Dalek" and after a re-watch, pairing it with a song, this just wouldn't leave my head.
"I know that you can't hear me but baby I need you to save me tonight."
Rascal Flatts. Come Wake Me Up.
Last of the Time Lords.
Last survivor of the Time War.
Last to witness the death of the last Dalek.
And he felt lost, numb, and tired. Weary in a way he hadn't been since he'd woken to find himself the last of his kind and the only reminder of a war that the universe merely whispered about in legends. It was a heavy burden he had to bear, if only so something like it could never happen again, would never happen again as long as he had breath in his lungs.
But tonight all he wanted to do was forget and mourn and be maudlin. He wanted to sleep but he couldn't because his body didn't require it right at this moment and his mind wouldn't let him. Sleep guaranteed nightmares and thoughts he couldn't control. So he didn't sleep. He sat on the jump seat and stared at the console as the TARDIS tried to sooth him with a slow hum, mourning with him, understanding in ways that no other creature in this universe ever would.
It was a comfort as the day ran through his mind again and again. As his mind focused on the simple fact that he'd almost lost the woman he loved. In the confines of his mind he would admit that he loved her; he would admit that he adored her and that she had saved him from despair. The Doctor, the Last of the Time Lords, loved one human woman whose heart was big enough to feel pity for a Dalek. The woman he loved was beautiful and passionate and bright. She was the balm his soul needed and today his hearts had shattered when he'd heard the word exterminate through his earpiece.
It echoes from his hearts to his soul and back again, a loop in his own timeline that he would never forget. The Dalek's had taken so much from him and they had almost taken her and he had let it happen.
He stopped thinking about the day for a moment in favor of turning his head to find Rose almost standing in front of him. He chastised himself for letting his mind wander, for not noticing her sooner.
"Pretty boy not demandin' your attentions?" he teased, even if his hearts weren't really in it. Rose shook her head and he frowned when she bit her lip. "Somethin' wrong?"
"Today was hard," she told him, her voice quiet. "An' I jus…I keep thinkin about you an' that Dalek an' I-I ordered it to kill itself. An' I know that they killed your people but I still-it died an' it was scared an' jus-"
He caught her eyes filling and scooted to the edge of the seat and had her in his arms, her face buried against his jumper, his hands running soothing circles on her back as she shook. They didn't say anything, they didn't have too, and he just held her and let them both take comfort from the embrace. In the short time they'd been travelling together, they already knew each other. He was supposed to know his companions, supposed to anticipate their needs, but they weren't supposed to know him as well. Rose Tyler was just proving to be the exception to every rule he made for himself.
"Do you hate me?" Rose mumbled as she pulled away with her eyes red. The Doctor frowned as he reached out and cupped her cheek as his thumb brushed a few stray tears from her face as she nuzzled into the embrace.
"Why would I hate you?" he asked.
"Because the Dalek…I…"
"Rose Tyler," he chuckled. "I could never hate you for feeling. It's what you do best."
"But they destroyed your people an-" she quieted at the look on his face.
"I'm a maudlin old man me," he responded. "Jaded an' cynical. The Dalek was…in the end you did it a kindness. Never apologize for that. Never apologize for that beautiful heart of yours. I wouldn't have you any other way."
"Are you alright?" she asked quietly, he paused. He could lie and say he was fine, the day was done and a new adventure tomorrow, or maybe the next day because they could all use a break after today. He could lie. He was good at lying. But Rose would see right through him. She always did.
"No," he responded. "But there's nothin' to be done about it. Just memories that'll never go away fighting to the surface."
Rose eyed him critically before she bit her lip and took a breath.
"Doctor I-"she paused, took another breath, before she nodded to herself. "Today was hard."
"It was," he responded slowly.
"We almost died," she said and he nodded.
"I don't think I'll sleep much tonight an' I know you won't," she pointed at him before she locked her gaze right into his. "That Dalek said you….it said you loved me. I just…I don't want to spend my night alone Doctor. Do you?"
He froze; shock and surprise ran through his system even as his body responded
to the question she had posed and the look in her eyes. He realized that now
they were one in the same now, the Last of the Time Lords and a girl from
"No, I don't," he responded as he felt his hands being taken by her. "Rose…"
"Let's not be alone tonight," she said quietly. "Let's just…not alone. We shouldn't have to suffer alone."
"No, we shouldn't," he squeezed her hands and she relaxed. "Let's save each other tonight."
Thank you for reading, as always feedback is most appreciated.