“Don’t you dare die,” Rose ordered through gritted teeth.
“If you die, I’m gonna kill you.”
“Not dying,” the Doctor wheezed, his sickly pallor and raspy
breath belying his words.
“Like hell you’re not!”
“Could regenerate,” he clarified, learning forward as a
terrible cough rattled in his chest.
Rose winced as phantom pains tore through her chest and as
his telepathic presence in her mind throbbed white-hot.
“Don’t you dare regenerate, either!”
“Rather me die? Being married to be so awful?” the Doctor
joked weakly, but Rose could feel his actual worry. She was quick to swaddle
him in comfort and reassurances as she helped him onto the bed in the med bay.
The Doctor tried to smile, but it broke off in a grimace as
the pain flared worse than before, leaving him gasping for breath.
“I don’t want you to do bloody either of them! Not if I can
help it!” Rose shouted, turning to face him as she ground together the various
herbs and chemicals the Doctor had given her into a mortar and pestle. “Now,
what do I do with this?”
The Doctor quietly instructed her on how to make the
antidote for the poison he’d been exposed to earlier that day. They’d been
aiming for a holiday, but as usual, they landed in the middle of trouble. They’d
helped fan the flames of an uprising, and the overthrown queen had been
understandably furious. As they were fleeing the rebellion, the queen ordered
her remaining loyal guards to shoot at them. When the Doctor realized what was
happening, he yanked Rose in front of him as they sprinted away to safety, hoping to
protect her from any rogue darts. His protection plan went a little too well,
and the Doctor was hit with a poisonous dart in the back of the neck.
“There, I think it’s done,” Rose said shakily as the Doctor
gasped for breath. His lips were blue and his chest was heaving and his hearts
were slowly failing. Rose barely clamped down on her fear, and instead focused
on helping the Doctor, on keeping that fading spark of him burning brightly in
her mind. “Doctor, stay with me, love! Look at me. Don’t you go. I’m not
finished with you yet. You still haven’t taken me to Barcelona, of all places.
For years you’ve been promising me these dogs with no noses…”
“Can do it…next time ‘round,” the Doctor murmured, his eyes
fluttering shut. “Give me…drink…help…”
“Right, here we go. Up you get. C’mon Doctor, open your
Rose sat on the bed beside him and pulled his upper body up
far enough to where she could wriggle behind him. He leaned heavily against her
as his chest rattled with every inhale and exhale. She encouraged him to lean
back completely into her, and she pillowed his head on her collarbone and
steadied his jaw in her palm.
“You’re gonna be all right, Doctor,” she whispered, pressing
her lips to his temples. “I’m going to make you all better.”
“Don’t talk,” Rose said, bringing the antidote to his lips.
“You’re not going to regenerate,” Rose said as tears burned
her eyes. “I’ve got the antidote here.”
“Hush, now,” she commanded, her fear making her voice
sharper than she’d intended. “I know it’s difficult for you, but stop speaking.
She brought the lip of the beaker to his mouth, and cringed
against the vile, pungent smell. She desperately hoped she hadn’t mucked it up
and was actually poisoning him further.
“Nice and easy,” she whispered as she poured the neon-orange
solution down his throat with shaking hands. “There we go. You’ll be better in
no time. Easy does it. Slowly.”
Rose helped him drink the entire vat, dabbing at his chin
when it dribbled past his lips.
“There,” she whispered, stroking her fingers across his
burning forehead. “You’ll be all right now, yeah?”
“…yeah… feeling better already,” he gasped, rolling round
restlessly on the bed. “Get off! Get away! Off the bed! Move!”
Pain lanced through Rose’s chest as the Doctor curled
himself away from her and whimpered in agony. The burning in her mind grew
worse and worse, and she was terrified he’d lied and was actually dying.
“Doctor?” she asked, placing her hand on his shoulder. “Doctor,
She yanked her hand back when she saw a golden light
rippling under the skin of his hands.
“Doctor, what have you done?” she yelled. “You told me it
was the antidote!”
“It was,” he grunted, still shooing her off the bed. “Letting
me regenerate… Would’ve been dead flat… Get off… Now, Rose… Can’t stop it…”
“But you can’t,” she whispered brokenly, even as she crawled
away from him.
“What, Doctor?” she whispered as tears dripped down her
“Stay,” he gasped frantically. “Don’t leave… please… Still
Her heart tore at his desperate plea. His mind was a
scattered, fearful, painful mess, and Rose ran a soothing touch over his mind.
He exhaled raggedly and welcomed her comfort, even as both their minds felt
like they were on fire.
Rose stepped forward to palm his cheek.
“Get away!” he wheezed agitatedly, batting her hand away,
but she stayed resolutely by his side.
“I’ll stay with you Doctor, always,” she whispered, dipping
down to press her lips to his. They were burning hot and Rose could feel the
energy rippling just beneath the surface, and her mind was aching with the pain
he was feeling, and with the fearful anticipation of what was to come.
Even as he tried pushing her away, his lips automatically
moved desperately against hers, mapping them out as though his life depended on
it. Rose finally had to break the kiss to move back to a safer location.
“See you on the other side, Doctor,” she whispered, swiping
at her eyes. “I love you, no matter what.”
“Rose…” he panted, reaching for her mind. She cuddled him
close, trying to soothe the pain she knew would be gone soon. “…Love you… My
She cried out with him as his body was finally overcome by
the golden light. His presence in her mind seared hot, before settling into
something new yet familiar, as a brand new man blinked open his eyes.