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10 July 2011 @ 10:39 pm
Fic: Next Morning's Sun (1/?, PG, Ten/Rose, Rose/OC)  
Title: Next Morning's Sun
Author: slpy650 
Characters/Pairings: Rose/Ten, Rose/OC
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I own nothing of Doctor Who.
Summary: "I'll wait; he'll come back." “How long you willin’ to wait?” he asked her.
Author's Note: I started this a while ago. A long while ago. But I didn't know if anyone would care to read it. It's very Rose/OC, for one. I'm not even sure where I could post it except for my journal.


I should not dare to leave my friend,
Because – because if he should die
While I was gone – and I – too late –
Should reach the heart that wanted me –

If I should disappoint the eyes
That hunted – hunted so – to see –
And could not bear to shut until
They “noticed” me – they noticed me –

If I should stab the patient faith
So sure I’d come – so sure I’d come –
It listening – listening – went to sleep –
Telling my tardy name –

My heart would wish it broke before –
Since breaking then – since breaking then –
Were useless as next morning’s sun –
Where midnight frosts – had lain!


~Emily Dickinson~

Chapter One: Morning in the Desert


The darkness changed so suddenly. From nothing at all – no sense, no thought – and then something penetrated, dove through the emptiness – urging and pulling synapses, sparking them to life. The ache, and the heat, and the blinding light – they hit her all at once with such a force that she couldn’t think, couldn’t comprehend, and she instinctively shrank away, pressing sore muscles into something hard and unyielding.

Synapses fired again, hammering through her like a shotgun blast as something scratched painfully at her arm. Once. Twice. Anxiety rushed through her, forcing her to move, and she pushed herself to the side just as something tugged sharply at her neck.

There was a scuff of rocks near her head, and she turned to discover the source, squinting carefully as intense light assaulted her pupils. Two black, soulless eyes, set into the pink, naked head of the ugliest bird Rose had seen in her life stared back.

Yelping, she scurried backward, kicking herself across dust and rocks. The great bird hopped away at her cry, cocking its head and studying her a quick moment before unfurling its dark wings to take flight. Heart pounding, she watched in amazement the bird, wings spread wide against the bright blue sky, swoop up and down as it caught the wind and became smaller and smaller, floating towards distant mountains.

“What…?” Rose mumbled, sitting up fully and turning. Her eyes, wide, flitted in every direction, and she mumbled again. “Where…?”

Barren hills surrounded her, stretching far and growing into those same jagged mountains that had swallowed the form of the bird. Neither the Doctor nor the TARDIS were anywhere in sight.

Rose stood slowly, wincing at the ache in her muscles. It wasn’t the first time she’d awoken in a strange place, but it was still disconcerting waking without the Doctor nearby to tell her everything was going to be just fine. Even if they were both sure it wasn’t. As she stood there, beginning to sweat beneath the sun, Rose remembered.

-:-

“Anywhere at all, Rose. Lady’s choice!”

“Somewhere warm.”

“Right.”

“Somewhere safe.”

“Yes.”

“And habitable. No nose plugs or anything like that.”

“Of course.” He waved his hand as if she were being ridiculous, as if he’d never taken her to a place with air poisonous to humans. Rose let it slide, biting her lip thoughtfully.

“And somewhere beautiful.”

“Well, that goes without saying,” the Doctor said, tapping a few buttons on the console and turning a dial.

“So where’s that, then?” Rose asked him.

“You know, I kind of feel like being surprised myself,” he said with a smirk.

-:-

The first spot was indeed beautiful but way too hot. Jets of water sprayed into the air, haloed by glittering rainbows against the sky. Three suns hung above them, slowly baking the tourists.

“Hmm,” Rose considered.

“Randomization circuit-thingy,” the Doctor reminded her, his eyebrows arching in excitement.

She grinned. “Next!”

The second spot was serene, and if she’d had a mind to, she could have propped herself up against one of the purple trees and read a book for hours – its smooth bark curved in the most promising of ways. But as she contemplated its leaves, bright white with fur (yes, she was sure it was fur) like a chinchilla’s, her breath apparently disturbed the tree into suddenly releasing every single leaf at once. Fur flew around her, and she found herself in a sneezing fit. As she stumbled passed the Doctor into the TARDIS, her eyes daring him to laugh or make any comment whatsoever, she sneezed again and grumbled at him. “Next.”

At the next stop she laughed, her hand shielding her eyes from the terribly acidic glare of mountains constructed, according to the Doctor, entirely of the finest fake gold. They sat on a shimmering lake of emerald green, and before the Doctor could tell her what wonders could possibly be within them, she’d pulled him after her back into the ship. He looked slightly startled, but swiftly hit the randomization circuit-thingy at her grin. “Next.”

The Doctor was the first to laugh at the fourth stop. Goofy stood two hundred feet tall above them, his ridiculously large shadow blanketing the TARDIS.

“Planet Disney World,” the Doctor explained at Rose’s bewildered expression.

“The whole planet is Disney World?” she clarified.

“Quite literally Disney World,” he confirmed.

She scoffed, “Definitely not!”

The Doctor looked relieved, and they both entered the TARDIS, giggling as Goofy advised they have a safe journey home.

-:-

It had all happened so fast.

Rose waited until the time rotor had stopped, and the Doctor had given the all clear. Skipping excitedly to the doors, she stepped outside and came to an abrupt halt.

It was pitch-black and cool. She stood stock-still for just a second, something niggling at the back of her mind, telling her to run.
Run!

“No,” she whispered and began to turn, her hand searching for the familiar faux wood of the TARDIS. She heard the Doctor yell to her from inside the ship, his voice pitched with fear.

“ROSE!”

There was a blinding flash, and she saw the area around her lit for one brief, ghostly second. She registered mounds of rocks and strange, twisted shapes before a deep vibration shook her, shook the shapes, shook the land, and she was knocked forward, falling hard to the ground, and then there was nothing.


-:-

She stood for a moment not quite believing the memory – it had all been so strange – the darkness, the flash, the Doctor’s cry.

ROSE! She shivered despite the heat of the sun.

The vibration that had shaken her, everything had just been…not right. She turned again in a slow circle, her eyes hopelessly searching for the TARDIS, but it was just those same brown hills, those rocky cliffs and peaks, and the vast, unblemished blue of sky.

“Doctor!” Rose called, listening as only her voice echoed back to her.

She was alone. But where?

Those shapes she’d seen in that quick, eerie instant before she’d been knocked out must have been those plants growing on the slope. She didn’t get too close, wary that the long, spindly arms might have some sort of self-defense, try to whip her or something, and their needles looked particularly dangerous.

But, it truly looked like this could be Earth. And then again, it truly looked like this could be anywhere.

Rose reached her hand into the back pocket of her jeans. Her stomach dropped immediately as she discovered it was empty. She felt like she was going to be sick.

She’d left her phone inside her hooded jacket. The one she’d taken off and draped over the jump seat because the Doctor was taking her somewhere warm, and it was supposed to be a surprise for both of them.

Her breath was coming shallow and she bent over, her head between her knees.

It took a while for the nausea to finally pass and her breathing to come normally, but once it did, she straightened shakily and began jogging, searching frantically for a blue box or the familiar figure of a man in pinstripes among the hills.

-:-

“Doctor!” Rose called, screamed for him over and over again until her throat was raw and tears raced down her cheeks. But there was nothing out there, no trace or clue. It was like he’d never existed.

She came to a dazed stop on a hill and sat down hard on the incline. Sweat was mingling with tears, and she pulled the collar of her shirt up to dab her face. The sun was higher, and she was getting uncomfortably warm. Her legs were sweaty, irritated beneath her jeans, and she scratched and rubbed them, trying unsuccessfully to relieve the itch.

He was gone. The Doctor was gone. And he was in trouble; that much she knew. What kind of trouble – TARDIS malfunction, alien transport beam – she didn’t know, though she thought alien transport beam more likely. For one thing, the Doctor was a hands-down trouble magnet. And secondly, even if the TARDIS had malfunctioned, he had a time machine for bloody sake. He would be here by now if that’s all it was…But he wasn’t, and she was – God, where was she?

She wiped the newly formed sweat from her brow and stared dismally across the hills. He’d left her in a wasteland. Though, she genuinely thought the sky was beautiful, clear. But there was not a tree in sight, not a stitch of shade big enough to protect her from that bright sun. And then a sudden thought gripped her in fresh fear, forcing the blood fast through her veins as her heart began to pound.

What if – whatever trouble he’d gotten into – what if the Doctor couldn’t get back to her? How the hell was she supposed to find him?

She had no superphone, no clue where she was, and, from all she could tell, no chance of figuring any of this out because there was simply nothing here but her and that damned, ugly bird that woke her up to this nightmare.

Covering her eyes with her palms, Rose took a deep, calming breath and let it out in one long, frustrated scream. It echoed back to her, and she laughed miserably, wiping her face again with her shirt.

As the echoing scream began to fade, a faint noise reached her ears, and she paused, turning her head to the side. A distant rumble drifted over the hill behind her, carried weakly by the wind. But it was getting louder and clearer.

It took just one, heart stopping second for Rose to decide whether to run to it or from it. She jumped up and spun around, forcing her tired legs up the last bit of hill until she reached the crest. Ready to rush back down the slope if need be, she looked cautiously out before her.

The landscape was much the same as everything else she’d seen here but for one important feature. A dirt road wound like a snake through the valley, wrapping around hills to disappear into the distance. And a cloud of dust was rising from it, chasing the unmistakable roar of an engine.

It was like her body had been shocked to life, and she jumped, calling out, “Hey!” Arms waving, she skipped down the other side of the hill, sprinting over rocks and brush. “Wait!”

Rose watched desperately as the vehicle came around a bend in the road, steadily nearing her. She hoped whoever or whatever was inside had seen her. Reaching the road, she skidded to a halt in front of the vehicle just as it slowed to a stop, the engine idling over. Dust obscured her vision and she coughed, waving it away as it began to settle.

The vehicle was not alien. It was a Chevy truck, Rose guessed maybe from the 60s or 70s, though it looked a bit beat up. It was mostly a dusty white but with a blue trim that rivaled that of the sky above it. And the plates on the front bumper claimed it was from Texas.

Rose cackled in a way that had her questioning her own sanity. Was this real? Part of her didn’t care. Illusion or not, she was utterly relieved she was not completely alone in…Texas. Well, that’s established at least; Earth, the States, Texas, the land of Dallas. Though, the ranch J.R. owned looked nothing like this place.

Smoke was pouring out of the truck’s window, and Rose saw that it was rolled down, a hand balancing a cigarette between two tanned fingers hung out the door. Calm, dark eyes peered at her through a thick coating of dirt on the windscreen. Taking a deep breath, she walked around to the driver side door.

He watched her approach, flicking the ash from his cigarette before placing it back between his lips. A battered cowboy hat sat on his head, shadowing a tanned face. Rose gave him her best, toothy smile, one that the Doctor would have been proud of.

“Thanks for stopping,” she said.

Suddenly, two furry heads popped up from the bed of the truck. Pink tongues lolled out of panting mouths, and Rose jumped before smirking at the canines and looking back at the driver.

He tipped his hat, his eyes having never left hers. “Howdy, ma’am.”

His accent wasn’t exactly Dallas as she remembered, but it had a distinct twang.

Rose laughed nervously. This was all so perfectly absurd. The man exhaled, smoke floating serenely out the window. He sat quietly, looking completely happy to let her do the talking now. Rose cleared her throat.

“Howdy,” she said a bit tentatively, and then with more confidence, “This is going to sound really weird, and I promise I’m not mad, but…what year is this?”

Frowning, the man took another long draw on his cigarette, his eyes piercing her. After a moment, he finally answered.

“The last I heard, it was 1981.”

“Right, good.” Her hands ran threw her hair, and she thought of the Doctor. How many times had she seen him do the same motion in frustration? “Good,” she said again, looking out across the desolate hills. What was she going to do now?

“Which way is it…to the nearest town?” she finally asked.

The man smiled for a split second, and his eyes seemed to come alive.

“You goin to walk into town?” He sounded amused.

“If you’d just tell me which way to go –”

“Get in,” he cut her off, flicking his cigarette onto the dirt road.

Rose faltered, taking in everything one more time. Chevy truck, cowboy hat, two panting dogs, a flicked cigarette, the briefest of smiles.

“Look,” the man said, breaking her thoughts, “you’re on my property.” He let that sink in as she glanced at the surrounding hills again, his hills. “If I had the mind to shoot ya, I could.” Rose looked back at him, startled, her eyes wide.

“I don’t,” he assured her easily. “But I did have a mind to go into town, so, get in.” He put the truck back into gear and waited.

Walking around to the other door, Rose swore, when she saw that Time Lord again, she was going to kill him. She got in the truck, muttering a quick ‘thanks’ as she slammed the door shut.

-:-

The man behind the wheel hardly gave her a glance, his eyes on the road like he was in deep thought. He wore a white, lightly checkered shirt tucked into jeans, the ensemble being completed by a pair of worn, dusty cowboy boots. He was obviously a man comfortable with silence. For Rose, however, that did not entirely hold true.

After several long minutes of watching the front of the Chevy eat up more and more dirt road, Rose decided to introduce herself.

“I’m Rose, by the way. Rose Tyler.”

“Bill Wake,” the man said.

She tried to think of something else to say.

“How long were you out there?” Bill asked, and Rose almost jumped, not expecting him to be so forthcoming in the conversation.

“Since last night, I guess.”

“You look pink,” he commented. Rose put a hand to her face, and sure enough, felt the first twinge of sunburn. Well, it was to be expected, sitting out in the sun for hours like she had.

“Guess I’ll live,” she managed to reply.

Bill lit another cigarette, and Rose shifted uncomfortably in her seat, wanting to get away from the permeating smell of tobacco.

They were approaching what looked like a gate, bobbed wire fence stretching across the hills, and as they passed over a cattle guard, she looked back in the side mirror. A metal arch reading ‘W.F.P. Ranch’ framed the entrance.

“Where’s this town, then, what’s it called?” she asked Bill.

“La Coyota. Bout nother five miles.”

“And that’s in Texas, yeah?”

“Yes, ma’am,” the man said in that deep drawl.

Rose licked her lips. She was incredibly thirsty. It felt like it was getting hotter, though the breeze from the window was helping some. Her eyes began to sting, and she closed them, willing herself to keep calm.

But her mind was traitorous and kept thinking of Sarah Jane Smith. Kept picturing the look on her face as she’d watched the Doctor. How long had it been for her? Thirty Years? More?

What if he isn’t coming back?

No, she thought. It’s not the same. He said so himself; he wasn’t going to do that to her. He didn’t mean for this to happen.

Then where is he?

She pushed the thought away, but it came back immediately, taunting her. Where was he? She didn’t know – she didn’t know where he was. She didn’t know if he was coming back. She didn’t know if he was alive, if he was in this century or the next. She didn’t know if he was a few miles down the road or on the other side of the universe.

He’s not coming back.

She clenched her fists, fingernails digging into her palms. No. Stop it. He isn’t coming back, her mind mocked her. She felt as if she was back on that spaceship with Mickey, looking at the broken time window.

Her heart breaking.

His smile as he took her in a hug.

“How long did you wait?”

“Five and a half hours.”

“Great! Always wait five and a half hours!”


“You comin in?” a voice said roughly, and Rose startled, opening her eyes to see they had stopped. The truck was parked in front of a rock-faced building, the sign on the roof simply reading ‘Diner.’

-:-

The place was relatively small but full of people. Most of them, men, had buttoned up shirts similar to Bill’s, as well as the tight jeans and cowboy boots. It was like there was some undeclared dress code they had all decided to follow. The diner was loud with the banter of friendly routine that gave Rose a feeling of normalcy and, at the same time, being totally out of her depth.

Bill walked to a far booth in the corner, nodding at various men as he passed them. Rose followed him automatically, not sure at all what her next plan of action was. The diners hardly looked up as she walked by, but as she took the seat opposite of Bill in the booth, the banter died down.

The skin on her neck prickled, and she got the distinct feeling that the whole café was staring at the back of her head. Bill was silently watching her, and they locked eyes, his gaze as steady as hers was dazed. He’d removed his hat, and she noticed his hair was dark and slightly wavy. She tried to smile, but it was tight and strained, so she gave up. Who was she kidding?

Just then, the waitress came to the table, a white apron tied around her waist. She placed a dark, steaming cup of coffee in front of Bill, and then pulled out a pen and pad from her apron and turned to Rose. Her nametag said her name was ‘Sandy.’

“Can I get you somethin to drink, Darlin?” Her hair was a dark shade of auburn streaked with grey. A small gold cross hung from a chain around her neck, and her nails were painted the same shade of red as her lipstick. Rose guessed she was around the same age as her mum. Her pen hovered patiently over the pad as she waited for Rose’s reply.

“Oh,” Rose smiled awkwardly, “I er, don’t have any money,” she explained. Sandy gave her a warm smile and looked back at Bill.

“It’s on me,” Bill said.

“Oh,” Rose said again. “Just water, I guess. Thanks.”

As the woman walked away, Bill lit another cigarette and handed Rose a menu from behind the condiments. “You should eat something.”

“Thank you for the ride and everything,” Rose began, taking a napkin from the holder and trying to wipe some of the sweat and grime from her hands. “I’m really not hungry.”

“I guess not,” he said. He took a sip of his coffee. “There’s a phone next to the Ladies’.”

Rose followed his gaze to a door leading to a hallway.

“I don’t have anyone to call either.”

As Sandy came back, he nodded slowly, watching Rose with that piercing gaze again.

“Here you go, Hon,” she said, putting down a big, sweating glass of water. “You know what you want?”

“Nothing. Not hungry, thanks,” Rose said.

“She’ll have the waffles,” Bill said. Rose gawked at him until Sandy had walked away again.

Tapping his cigarette over the ashtray on the table, he said, “I think you should eat somethin. Sounds like you were out there awhile, and you look like hell.”

Self-consciously, Rose put a hand to her cheek, but she knew most of her makeup had been sweated and cried away, and now she had a fine coating of dust on top of it all.

“Guess you ain’t gonna tell me why you were out there, are ya?”

Rose picked up her glass and drunk until most of her thirst had abated. She glanced at him over the glass, taking small sips to gather her thoughts. She didn’t even know where to begin. ‘I’m from the future and travel through time and space with an alien; there’s just been some mix up in our last adventure and I got stranded…purely accidental…I hope.’

It just wasn’t something you opened with.

“I’ve got several theories,” Bill said helpfully. “First one’s something to do with drugs,” he began and observed her reaction. Her eyes held his as she continued to drink.

“No, not drugs then. Well, that’s good.” He took another sip of coffee, looking at her like she was a particularly difficult crossword section. “You’re not from around here – British, sounds like,” he said as if that were an important clue. Rose guessed, in some sense, it was, but she hardly thought a cowboy rancher from 1981 Texas was going to know why she was here. “Second theory is something to do with a man.”

Rose put down her glass and bit her lip. Well there went her theory.

Bill sighed. They sat in awkward silence. He stubbed out the third cigarette she’d seen him with into the ashtray, and she finished off nearly all of her water. People were beginning to leave, the diner emptying.

“We were traveling together and got separated,” Rose finally told him. Bill nodded again like he’d been given another helpful clue but hadn’t yet solved the puzzle.

“So, if you don’t mind my prying, what are you gonna do now?”

Rose shrugged. “Gotta look for him.”

“You need the sheriff?”

“It’s not,” she paused and shook her head. “They couldn’t help. It’s not like that.”

“So, what if you can’t find him?” Bill asked after another short silence.

“I’ll wait; he’ll come back. He always does.” She said it with more confidence than she felt, and her eyes fell to her glass.

Sandy was back, and she sat a big plate of waffles, a little cup full of whipped butter, and a canister of sugary syrup on the table. Rose looked at it all in apprehension, her stomach beginning to churn with unspoken nerves. He would be back, wouldn’t he?

“How long you willin’ to wait?” Bill asked as Sandy left them alone.

Rose met his gaze and answered without hesitation, “Forever.”

Chapter Two
 
 
 
( 4 comments — Comment )
salimalisalimali on July 11th, 2011 05:35 am (UTC)
Ohh intriguing start. Ten wouldn't have left her on purpose so what has happened. Hopefully he'll find her soon, she can slap him silly and then lots of lovely Rose/Ten fluffy stuff ;-)
I'm writing this to you in reverse: Roseslpy650 on July 12th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC)
:)
Thanks!
Andee: mistress_tink - fist bumpi_luv_redheads on July 11th, 2011 12:53 pm (UTC)
Perhaps?! You had better continue!!
I'm writing this to you in reverse: Ten/Roseslpy650 on July 12th, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
I shall endeavor to continue, then.
:D
( 4 comments — Comment )