knightsfalling: ([DW] Rose Can't Touch [Doomsday])
[personal profile] knightsfalling
Title: The Shiver, The Shake, The Tremor
Author: [ profile] redknightalex
Fandom: Doctor Who
Rating: PG
Characters/Pairings: Ten/Rose
Warnings: Some bloody bits and the pseudo character death
Setting/Spoilers: Series 2, “Doomsday”
Word Count: 1,050
Disclaimer: I own nothing and all of this is the fault work of RTD, the BBC, and other marvelous people. I make absolutely no money what-so-ever from this piece.
Summary: The Doctor made his way to the TARDIS, stumbling over dead bodies, stepping through the carnage that had happened the day that would go down in history as the "Battle of Canary Warf”, and it wasn't until he reached into his pockets for the keys that he noticed his shaking hands.

Author's Notes: This is what happens when you watch “Doomsday” all over again after having a bad day.

Originally posted here.

He never remembered walking out of that horribly white room, the cold London air, freshly blown off of the Thames and smelling of ruin and destruction, of a city burning after what must have felt like a lifetime of terror, ruffled his hair gently as he walked past the aisles of destroyed computers and work stations, past the blown out glass, and finally into the staircase.

He was never one to hang his head, never one to look so determinedly at his feet, yet every step he made took an effort that felt like defeating a Dalek for every right step and a Cyberman for the left. His trainers scuffed against the floor, creating a loud noise that bounced around the empty walls of the abandoned stairs. One time he even tripped, falling down a few steps before finding himself landing awkwardly against a sign that said N9. He took a deep breath, collecting himself, shutting off his mind, and kept moving forward. He eventually stumbled upon what he was looking for.

He found her, unscathed, untouched, in one of the more burnt out bunkers of Torchwood. The dead bodies of humans and Cybermen, Torchwood staff, military officers, and innocent civilians alike lay discarded across the ground; blood and guts, metal and oil, running and mixing together like water would flow from a stream. If he had wanted to, if he had strained his ears enough to hear, he would have still heard the battle cries of guns and bullets, lasers and commands, echoing across the bunker from the streets above. Not every Cyberman had vanished from the streets of the world, and London was still falling down to the Earth like the ashes of a once-wonderful empire hidden in the skies, and so the battle raged on. He found that, for once, he didn't care.

He walked straight across the mess of grease and gore, ignoring the squishing sound it made against the soles of his trainers, or the way it smelled like charred flesh and burning vehicles. He kept his eyes straight on the blue box in front of him, his hands fumbling to find the keys in his pockets, only to discover them shaking as the key fell to the floor.

He looked at his hand for a moment, studying it, moving it to and fro, examining it like a scientist would a subject. He couldn't detect any defects, nor any flaws, yet the tremor, the shake, the shiver he couldn't stop. It was uncontrollable, unstoppable, inevitable.

Suddenly, in a fit of emotion, he reached down with a huff and grabbed the key, feeling the bloody mixture coating his hands as he grasped it firmly in his fist. He placed one hand against the wood of the TARIDS while the other struggled just to fit the slippery key into the lock.

When he finally managed it, he carefully turned the key, walked inside, and shut the door. He stood there for a moment, looking at the console, taking in the familiar sounds, sights, and smells of the TARDIS, breathing her in as if she could give her the strength he felt slipping out of his legs.

Then, as if it was as natural as raising from the ashes of an old man, he fell to the ground in a heap, his back supporting his weight by falling against the doors, the indestructible material of the TARDIS, with a hollow thump. He wrapped his arms around his knees, hugging them close to his heaving chest, struggling for the air that he always took for granted, his two hearts beating furiously in his chest, and laid his heavy head atop them.

He swore he wouldn't cry – he never cries, could never, must be stronger than all of this – yet the moisture that fell down his checks and stained his trousers had the distinct mark, and taste, and smell, of sadness leaking from his soul. The tremor had only been a sign.

The Doctor never knew how long he sat there. Time had no meaning, particularly now, and he just listened to the TARDIS' sad song, mixing with his melting hearts. He sat and heaved, gasping for air that his lungs seemed to reject, clenching his eyes shut, as the events of the past few hours went whizzing past his head. He remembered landing at the Powell estate, he remembered the ghosts, the Torchwood Tower, the shifts, the Daleks, the Cybermen, the worlds colliding, the cracks, the war, the falling, the falling, the falling. He could feel, see, hear it all over again and, for a moment, he wanted to just scream, scream so loud that the entire universe would hear him and know his anger, his fury, his passion, but, most of all, his sorrow.

And when he closed his mouth, taking in slightly slower breaths, he knew that he'd never forget the sound that had come out of him.

He eventually got up, once the heaving had slowed and his eyes started to flutter away the moisture that had stubbornly refused to leave him, and he just as stubbornly refused to even glance at the wet spots on his knees, to wipe at his face, or even to blow his own nose. He slowly made his way to the controls, his feet falling heavily on the solid metal grating, and tightly clenched his fists around the railings surrounding the console.

For a brief moment he paused, closing his eyes, and let time slide past him. When he opened them, a tear made its way out of his eye and landed on his whitening fist. It splashed cool against his flesh and, for a moment, he held his breath. The truth of that one witnessed drop, like the tremor, was uncontrollable, unstoppable, and inevitable.

Then, time started moving again, and he could feel it worming its way back into the thick of him, just as it always should be. If it could move forward then so could he.

The Doctor looked at the controls and starting searching for a gap, any gap, between the worlds that was somehow still open for business. He found one, near a super nova still in the making. It was a couple weeks away but, in this old thing, he'd be there in seconds.

If only he had the strength to pull the lever.


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September 2011

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