→ Rose Tyler as the Eighth Doctor’s companion (x)
It’s a beautiful romance. He calls her Miss Tyler for a week after they meet. When he finally calls her Rose he can’t stop saying it.
He takes afternoon tea while she craves chips. They both love sweet shops.
He teaches her how to waltz in the console room and the language of flowers. She keeps him on his toes, always asking the right questions and saving him when he needs it. It’s a full time job, she thinks.
Sometimes it’s earth with endless bookstore trips along the Seine, where she finds him the perfect first edition Wilde on the top shelf and around the corner. Brilliant, she is.
Sometimes it’s planets and galaxies even he hasn’t been to. The places they discover are sewn together with moss and foam, vales of glass, civilizations of dew and bones, floating market places, and glowing bazaars.
They’ve been chased out of more dinner parties they can count, they’ve run from monsters in a frock coat and gown, and explored catacombs armed with nothing more than a screwdriver and fob watch.
It’s a hectic, runaway life aboard the TARDIS and, honestly, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
It’s not something they want to do; it’s something they must.
They try to reach the press before rumors sneak their way through London, between the lines of newsprint and in the corners of rich mouths, but the paparazzi are too quick. It is not long after they bring this new Doctor back to the Tyler mansion that the media files out photographs of Rose Tyler and her new beau.
They call him the Doctor (“Those idiots,” says Rose one night, “think he’s a proper doctor. A medical doctor.”) and they don’t correct them.
Soon, there are men on their lawn with flashing cameras and chattering questions, men following Jackie and Pete on the streets, men climbing lattices to bedroom windows, hoping to catch them in the act.
But the Doctor is not in Rose Tyler’s bedroom. He is in the guest room, the kitchen, in front of the fireplace, anywhere she is not. Because what the media does not know is that they are not sleeping together, they are barely speaking. They see each other with stunned, frightened eyes and move on.
They are back to where they began, all those years ago, the time that smells of crinkled leather and sounds like a Northern accent. He thinks, does she—can she love me? He fears he is not enough. He has no stars to offer her, not this time.
And she is afraid. He is the same man, she knows, but that is what frightens her. All those lives he lost, and he only has one now. She knows he is reckless and self-sacrificing and can she give herself to a man—a man— who she could so easily lose?
But what scares her the most is to know that she will.
And there they are now, doing what must be done. It is the first time they have spent so many hours together since Bad Wolf bay.
An official statement.
A label, binding them together.
He is Doctor John Smith to the public now, currently not practicing medicine.
He is only living in the Tyler mansion until Rose settles back into her apartment, where she will bring him along (it is this information that makes them both tense).
They met while travelling.
Then they are asked questions, like What was your first kiss like, What city did you meet in, Can we expect wedding bells any time soon?
And their answers come strangely easily: over chips, in Barcelona, maybe with a cheeky wink of the eye and curl of a tongue over some teeth.
Suddenly, among these paparazzi, this media, these newsmen and women with their footage rolling and white lights blinking and incessant talking, it feels like a foreign land. And they are only vistors, making up a path of lies as they go, paving their way, surviving.
It is only a foreign land and they are only the same tourists they ever were any where else.
The Doctor reaches for Rose’s hand, and she grips it.
And it feels invigorating, clever, right.
BBC’s Bad Wolf→ a Doctor Who spinoff about Rose and the metacrisis Doctor building their life together in Pete’s World (and beyond).
Now you see them, on some planet, Earth perhaps, but likely not. You see them emerge from a police box and you wonder what these two people—one blonde with pink cheeks and the other lanky with tussled brown hair—were doing in that big blue box. The rings gleam on their left fingers as he takes her hand. The woman looks up, smiling with her tongue curling over her teeth and lip.
You see them skip over to some market, chatting with the locals, and in-between, catching the other’s eye and pressing kisses to lips and hands. You look at their love and are envious.
But what you, standing just meters from where that blue box appeared, don’t see is the time it took them to get there, you don’t see the struggle. You don’t see him—the Doctor—forgetting to sleep or her—Rose—berating him, begging him to be less reckless. He only has one life, after all.
You don’t see them piecing together their lives after being viciously ripped from another, working on what it means to be in love in a different world with a different set of hearts, only two between the both of them this time. You don’t see the months, the years it takes to grow their own TARDIS, replacing trips to Woman Wept with an airplane to Italy. And you don’t see them come to realize that, even after all this time, some pint of the Bad Wolf still lives in her. And as he is part Time Lord, both of them age far slower than their human bodies ought to.
But here they are now. Off in the cosmos, you get this odd feeling that these strangers you’re watching are exactly as they should be: in some market, on some foreign land, together.
The white luminosity of the sunlight breaking into their eyes strays their vision momentarily. The blueness of the TARDIS fades in and out and eventually its sound melds into the crashing waves and then disappears.
There is a quiet lush sound of the water licking the sand.
Rose Tyler is brave, she has never not been. He, on the other hand, feels like a coward. He is everything he had wanted to give her, but suddenly the emptiness in the air, absent of the sound of the blue box, pries into him and the unfurling and sharp whipping of her blonde hair almost fills the void, but doesn’t.
He realizes he is afraid; he is more afraid than he can remember, more than when he faced the devil, more than when lost Rose to this parallel world, more than when the thought slipped through his brain that Rose might not love this version of him.
And as she smiles uncertainly at him, he smiles back and it almost reaches his eyes. She falters.
They know they have each other.
But as they both glance back to the messy traces in the sand where the TARDIS had stood, the harbinger of their love and tragedy, they wonder if that will be enough.