Rose lay in her bed, face buried in her pillow…sobbing at the broken heart she now had. Hours earlier, Rose thought she had lost the Doctor. He had left her and Mickey on a ship in the middle of space with no way or returning and no idea of how they would return home. Her world was shattered. She had thought she had meant more to the Doctor, but when he so willingly crashed through a mirror to save some French courtesan…well, she was proven wrong.
She felt foolish. Foolish for thinking she meant something to him, foolish for allowing herself to show how much she cared, and foolish for hoping he would want to be with her after he finally came back. He didn’t want to be with her. In fact, the moment he had returned, he immediately went back to France for her. After seeing the Doctor’s heartbroken face when he realized she had died, Rose was grateful to Mickey when he pulled her out of the control room. She wasn’t sure if she could handle being his comfort device when he was pining away for another woman.
Now, Rose knew where she stood…knew what she was too him. Simply…a travel buddy. But no, not even that was right…because you don’t leave your buddies behind to die. And that’s just what he did…left them behind to die with no means of getting home. Mickey had stayed with Rose for a while in hopes of being some comfort to her, but when it hadn’t seemed to work, he knew she would rather be alone.
After having a good, long wallow in her room, Rose had one tiny piece of hope left in her. Maybe if she just went to the Doctor and told him how she felt, he would apologize and she might be able to see some resemblance of guilt on his face. If she could tell that he truly felt guilty for his actions, then maybe that meant he did care for her. Rose knew this was another foolish notion, but she had to try.
She set off down the hallway in search of the Doctor…looking in every room she possibly thought he might be in. When she still couldn’t find him, she decided to go back to the console room…having run out of ideas. Rose walked up to the console and stood in front of the monitor. “Hey, old girl. Can you show me where the Doctor is? Is he ok?” Rose asked the Tardis. At Rose’s request, an image of the Doctor popped up on the screen…and it looked like he was really, very not ok.
Sitting in front of a large fireplace, in what looked to be the library, sat the Doctor with his chin in his hands…tears streaming down his face. Rose didn’t know what he was really so sad about, but all that came to her mind was Madame de Pompadour. She had never seen the Doctor look so heartbroken before, let alone cry. Rarely had she even seen him show other emotions. And there he was…showing emotions…and crying over someone that wasn’t her.
In that moment, Rose finally understood how insignificant she was to him. How could she ever compete with a woman who was obviously so much more refined and cultured than she was? She decided…she just couldn’t stay anymore. Yes, there was one point when she had promised him forever, but that was a different time…a time when she trusted him with her life. That wasn’t the case anymore.
Rose walked back to her room, sobbing silently once again. Instead of plopping herself down on her bed again to wallow in her misery, she went straight for her closet and pulled out the large duffle bag she had brought with her. Standing in the middle of her large walk-in closet staring at her bag in hand, she stopped to ask the ship for a favor.
“Please, take me home. I can’t…I just can’t face him again. If I do, then I know I won’t be able to... Please, fly me home…and don’t let him know. Please?” Rose begged the Tardis. The Tardis hummed back its disapproval. “Please?! I can’t say goodbye…not to him. I don’t want him to see me like this…” Rose begged again, sobbing still. Giving in to her request, the Tardis hummed it’s ok. “One last thing though…don’t let him come after me. At least not for a while…years maybe. I just can’t do this anymore…” she said to the ship and the ship reluctantly hummed back another ok.
Rose made her way around her room, throwing in anything and everything she wanted that reminded her of the happier times. As she sat down on her bed one last time to look around her room, she knew something was off. Sure, she didn’t want to face him when she left, but that didn’t mean she didn’t want to say goodbye. She got up and walked over to a large desk in the corner of her room and sat down, pulled out some paper and a pen and began to write two letters…one to the Doctor and one to Mickey.
She knew that she owed Mickey a proper goodbye, but she only knew he would try to convince her to change her mind. Sure, Mickey had always been jealous of her relationship with the Doctor and she knew he always hoped she would leave him, but Mickey also knew how much she cared about the Time Lord and he knew that leaving him would break her heart. Ultimately, Mickey would never truly want her to leave him…not when he knew she loved him. Trying to suck back her tears long enough to get through this, she began to write her letters.
As soon as she lay her pen down, the Tardis let her know that she had silently landed them back at the Powell Estate. Rose walked back to her bed, picked up her bag and swung it over her shoulder as she headed to her bedroom door. She opened the door and turned around in the doorway one last time to give her room a final look. She had thought that this ship was her home, but now…she didn’t have the heart to stay when she knew how little she meant to it’s pilot.
Rose shut her bedroom door behind her and headed off down the hallway to the console room…tears once again streaming down her face. Now standing in front of the Tardis doors, she placed a hand on the handle and said a silent goodbye to the ship she had thought she would be in forever. “Goodbye.” She whispered as she slowly pushed open the doors in front of her.
Trying to build up the courage to take a step, she actually had begun to hope that the Time Lord would come bounding up the ramp behind her and stop her from leaving, but that hadn’t happened. Once again, she sadly laughed at her own foolishness. Rose walked through the doors and pulled them closed behind her. Taking a few steps back, she turned around to get one more look at the blue police box that had changed her life. With a deep breath, she turned around and walked away from the Doctor and then box silently disappeared.
As the Doctor placed the letter from Reinette back into his pocket, all he could think about was how much pain he had once again caused to those he loved. She had trusted him and loved him and now, she was just another person that he had to watch die. Even though he didn’t feel the same way about her, he still cared for her as a friend and now he was too late to say goodbye. She had died before he could get there and the guilt of the broken promise to show her the stars was eating him alive.
In his sadness, he forgot the one person that he cared about most…Rose. Not knowing what to do, the Doctor turned and headed towards the library…the one place he was always able to quiet his thoughts and think. This had always been the room that him and Rose would go to after an especially tough adventure and he half expected to find her in there when he reached the room. When he entered, the fireplace was roaring thanks to the Tardis and the room was empty. Rose was always a comfort to him, but in his state of mind, he was rather glad she wasn’t there. He needed to think about the day’s events and looking into her eyes, he wouldn’t be able to do it clearly…she always had that effect on him.
Sitting in a large chair in front of the fireplace, tears began streaming down his face as he held his head in his hands. When he made the decision to break through the glass to save Reinette, he hadn’t even thought about the consequences. He knew he would have no way back, but in the moment it didn’t matter to him. He had to be the hero and save the damsel in distress, no matter the consequences. At the time, it seemed like the only option…but he was selfish. In his selfishness, he had forgotten about Rose…what had he done?
It was only now that he was starting to worry about what she was thinking. Was she upset with him? Did she hate him? Surely, she had to know why he did it…he had to save Reinette’s life. The equivalent of a loud yell sounded in the Doctor’s head from the Tardis letting him know he was quiet mistaken. The Tardis had let him know that Rose was very much upset with him. She tried to let him know he needed to go talk to her, but in his stubbornness, he didn’t listen. The Doctor needed some time to think things through.
He still hadn’t really ever admitted to himself just how in love he was with Rose Tyler or how much she had meant to him. It was until he thought he had broken her trust in him, that he started to worry about the consequences of what he had done. After meeting Sarah Jane, he promised her he would never leave her behind like the others…that she meant more to him than that…and he done just what he promised he wouldn’t do. He’d left her behind. As the tears fell from his eyes, images of a sobbing and heartbroken Rose flashed in his mind. The idea that he had done that to her, shattered his hearts.
After what felt like hours of being bombarded with mental nudges from the Tardis, the Doctor finally removed his head from his hands and acknowledged the ships calls to get up. His ship was right. He needed to get up, suck it up, and go find Rose. The Doctor set off down the hallway towards Rose’s room, in hopes of her being awake so they could talk. He had so much he wanted to say to her, but mostly he wanted to beg her forgiveness before it was too late. He hadn’t seen her since he got back on the Tardis after he realized Reinette had died and he was worried that he had broken her trust in him.
He always promised he would be there for her, but when he realized that he hadn’t even thought about her when he did what he did, he couldn’t believe himself. She meant so much more to him than anyone ever had and he left her behind. As he reached her bedroom door, he stood for a moment trying to think of what he would say to her. He still hadn’t realized that the images he had seen in his head, were projections of what Rose was going through. What if she was furious with him? What if she yelled at him? Or worse…what if she really was heartbroken? It was true that an angry Rose was not something he liked to see, but a crying Rose was even worse.
He slowly removed his hand from his pocket and knocked on her door. “Rose? Are you awake?” he quietly called through the door. “Rose? Can I come in? I want to talk to you…” he said when she didn’t respond. Rose not responding to him was not a good sign and he now thought that he was in even more trouble than he realized cause even if she was livid with him, she still acknowledged him. “Rose? Please talk to me. Rose?” When once again she didn’t answer, it had dawned on the Doctor that maybe she wasn’t in her room.
Standing in the hallway outside of Rose’s room, he asked the Tardis for her location. “So then, where is she?” he asked his ship. A hum from the Tardis told him to head to the console room. As he made his way down the hallway, hope began to build inside him. If Rose was in the console room, then maybe she was waiting for him…maybe she actually did want to talk to him and that was a good sign.
However, his hopes were dashed when he reached the console room and did not spot Rose anywhere. “I thought you said she would be here!” he yelled to his ship. Instead of a reply from his ship, an envelope addressed to him appeared on the console in front of him. He swallowed as he saw the handwriting that belonged to Rose. The Doctor’s hands began to shake as he opened the letter from Rose and as he read the words on the page, his hearts stopped and he suddenly felt as though his entire world was gone. Rose…was gone.
My dearest Doctor,
I hope the Tardis has been kind enough to make sure this letter finds you. If she has, then I am gone and I have asked the Tardis to take me home. I realized after you left us, just how stupid I was to ever think we were…nevermind. You broke my heart Doctor. And I realized…I can’t do this anymore. I can’t wait around hoping one day you’ll care about me like that…like I did about you. I don’t regret one moment of my time with you, but I don’t think my heart can take anymore. I’ve always been honest with you, Doctor, but you’re so closed off. You won’t talk to me about anything and you shut down instead of opening up, but I deserve some honesty…and you haven’t given me that. What you’re not saying, Doctor, is coming in loud and clear and I finally understand. I’m never going to mean as much to you as she did.
Please, don’t come after me Doctor and…have a fantastic life.
The world around the Doctor shattered as it sank it. His actions had hurt Rose so deeply, that his worst fear was realized. She couldn’t stand to be with him anymore. He lost her…she left. It was only then that the Doctor finally admitted to himself…he loved her and now…he was too late. Knowing he needed to do everything he could to make it up to her and beg her to come back, he set the coordinates into the console for Powell Estate.
He tried to get the Tardis to take him back to the moment she had left. He hoped he would find her just as she had stepped out of the Tardis and beg her forgiveness, but the Tardis would not comply. After many minutes of the Tardis refusing to listen, the Doctor was finally able to land her. As he headed towards the Tardis doors, he thanked his ship and opened the doors to step outside. It was only then he realized that the Tardis had not infact listened to him after all.
He did not land on the Powell Estate and it most certainly was not the right date either. By the sense of things, the Tardis had landed the Doctor about 5 years into the future…in Cardiff. The Doctor didn’t want to be here. He knew that if he had landed too far into the future, it would mean that too much time had passed and Rose might have moved on. He wanted to bolt back into the Tardis and leave before he could see anything…or anyone…before he could change the outcome. However, before he could even turn back towards the doors…he heard the one sound that he feared he would…Rose’s laugh.
The Doctor spun around to the right and there she was…even more beautiful than she was before, but the sight before him made the regret and the want to not believe rise in him. There in the distance was Rose Tyler in the arms of…Captain Jack Harkness. As the Doctor watched Rose laugh into his shoulder as Jack picked her up and spin her around, the jealousy began to overwhelm him. That should be him with Rose, not Jack. Just as he was ready to walk up to Rose and pull the two apart, the next sight stopped him in his tracks. Jack leaned forward and kissed Rose. The Doctor felt his hearts drop out of his chest. He was too late. Rose had left him and moved on with her life…and was in love with someone else. The Doctor had lost Rose Tyler.