Forget Me Not

When the TARDIS takes the Doctor (that'd be the tenth, ladies and gents) and Rose to an obscure little cottage in the middle of nowhere, they are faced with a dangerous alien, as the Doctor always is, and the underlying relationship that all of us Whovians know exist between the Doctor and Rose comes into the light. It's the story that Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat would never give their fans the satisfaction of seeing- but that's what I'm here for. Allons-y!

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21. Blue

Mickey, Jack, and Rose were all back in the TARDIS, gathered in the main control room with Peter’s body slumped up against the door. Nobody could bear to look at him anymore. They had all had done their crying, but as there were no more tears to cry, there was no reason to keep looking at the dead boy by the door. When the Doctor walked back into the room, everyone could tell that he was crying, and they all saw the blood on his hands and knees, but nobody said anything to him about it.

The sight of Peter by the door pushed the Doctor close to his breaking point again, but he closed his eyes and sighed deeply, forcing himself to put the TARDIS in motion to pick up a casket and find a place to lay Peter to rest. He tried to do it all on his own, but Rose refused, and Jack and Mickey wanted to be supportive, so they silently tagged along and helped carry the casket back into the TARDIS, where they laid Peter inside and closed it. The Doctor flew the TARDIS to a desolate field in a time when the land wasn’t being used, digging up the  earth with the help of the other men while Rose stood by, trying her best not to look at the casket that held her son. She pretended like she wasn’t crying, and everyone pretended not to notice. It became a common courtesy to ignore the crying during Peter’s burial, until the dirt was packed back into place and it came time to say a eulogy of sorts before they left.

The Doctor sighed, knowing he’d be the one who would have to start. “Peter was wonderful. He was an intelligent, kind boy who lit up the worlds of everyone he met,” the Doctor looked up at the three people surrounding him, knowing they were the only ones who actually knew him. He continued, “He was an absolute pleasure to have known, and it is heartbreaking to know that his time in this life was up so soon.”

“I loved him so much.” Rose began talking before she fell to tears again, knowing when she did that she wouldn’t be able to speak anymore. “I still love him. He was my first child, and I’ve never loved anything more than I love him. He was perfect. I could have never wished for anything more than what he gave me. His life made mine worth living.” Her throat tightened, and she knew she had said all she could manage.

Jack was next, saying, “Even though I only met him hours ago, Peter was one of the greatest people I’ve ever known. He wore his heart on his sleeve, and he didn’t know anything but good. He was as pure as anything could be, he was a great kid.”

Mickey didn’t look up from the overturned ground. He stared in silence for a moment before ending the speaking with, “He believed in us more than we did. He trusted us with everything, relying on us to guide him through such a short life. You all already said how great he was, how kind he was, how pure he was, but what really needs to be said is how we all fell in love as soon as we met him. He captured out hearts, holding them and taking them with us when he left. I don’t think I’ve ever been so affected by a sudden loss, but Peter was special. He was one of a kind.”

They stood gathered around his grave, staring down and crying, eventually coming together and holding each other because the weight of Peter’s death was too much for each of them to hold on their own. After a while, the sun was gone and the sky was black, causing the three of them to return to the TARDIS. The Doctor dropped Mickey and Jack off where they had come from, saying their goodbyes and exchanging hugs soberly and solemnly. When the Doctor and Rose were alone again, they just stood in silence hugging each other and wishing away the tears that kept on coming.

Days passed, and Rose was slipping deeper and deeper into depression. She wasn’t herself anymore; she had lost the gleam that once was in her eye. The Doctor tried to cheer her up, but nothing worked. They were sitting silently in the TARDIS while the Doctor was contemplating how to make Rose feel better when she said, “Take me back.”

“What?”

“Take me back to the part of Peter’s life that I missed. Take me back to the café when you dropped me off so that I can stop myself from ever leaving. Take me back.”

The Doctor was slowly shaking his head while she was talking, dreading having to answer her. “Rose, I can’t. It’s one of the laws of time, you can’t go back on your own time line. It’d create a paradox, and bad things would happen. If I could fix things, I would, but I can’t. I’m sorry.”

She looked up from her hooded eyes and stared at the Doctor, making him feel, once again, like everything that happened was his fault. He couldn’t control the laws of time, it wasn’t like he could push a few buttons and make everything okay again. Still staring, letting tears fall from her face, Rose deeply bothered the Doctor, to the point where he had to say something.

“What, Rose? Why are you giving me that look? What have I done?”

“Why can’t you just take me back? I wouldn’t mess with anything-”

“Except for your own time line, which is strictly forbidden!”

“Why does it matter anymore, you’re-”

“Those are the laws of my people!”

“You’re the only one left!”

“Maybe that’s a good thing!”

Rose stopped and thought about what the Doctor had just shouted before quietly asking, “What is that supposed to mean?”

The Doctor sighed and replied, “Jeez, Rose, I don’t know. Sometimes I just think I’m better off on my own because everyone I come close to ends up getting hurt because of me, and-”

“Stop it.”

“And I don’t want that to happen anymore, so if being the only Time Lord alive and living a life of solitude is-”

Stop it.

“Is the way to keep people safe, then I‘ll do it.”

“Doctor, STOP!”

He paused before gaping at her, “What?

“You are so, so wrong. You should never be alone. You are a wonderful man, and saying things like that will get you nowhere. I’m sorry I’ve been making you feel like this, I’ll stop, it’s just hard, because…” While Rose was talking, she was fighting back tears again. When she came to the end of her sentence, she found it impossible to keep it inside, and she started sobbing again. The Doctor wrapped her in a hug and they both cried together for a little while before the Doctor pulled away, saying, “Rose, I can’t let you stay like this.”

Confused, Rose asked, “What do you mean?”

“This… everything. You’re broken, sad, not who you used to be before… Peter.” When his name pierced the air, both of them flinched and started tearing up again, but the Doctor went on, “I have to fix this. For you, Jack, and Mickey. You need to forget.”

Rose shook her head, astonished that the Doctor would assume such a thing “How could I forget him just like that?”

“With my help.” The Doctor placed his hands on either side of Rose’s face, cradling her cheeks in his fingers, and quietly explained, “I can erase your memories of Peter, and it’ll be like he never existed. I’ll do the same to Mickey and Jack, and nobody will remember except for me. It’ll be less pain for all of us.”

Rose tore her face from the Doctor’s hands, shouting, “No! I can’t let you do that! I’ll get over this, I’m sure, I just need time-”

“No, you won’t, Rose. You’ll get worse and worse, I can see it. You’ll become a hollow being who was once filled with life but descended to an empty body because your loss was too much to handle. I can’t let you get that low. Please, Rose, let me fix this.” The Doctor was gentle with his words, coaxing Rose back to him so that he could free her of the mental prison she was building for herself.

Tears streaked Rose’s face as she held the Doctor’s hands in her own, pressing them against her cheeks and stabilizing herself. She muttered, “Please don’t forget.”

“I never would.”

“Lay flowers at his grave for me?”

“Of course.”

“Tell him I love him every day.”

“I promise.”

“Okay. I’m ready.” They were both crying, squeezing their eyes shut and holding each other close.

When Rose opened her eyes again, she saw that the Doctor had tears streaming down his face, and he was staring at her expectantly, like he was waiting for her to say something horrible.

“Doctor, are you alright? Why are you crying?”

The Doctor looked into Rose’s eyes and smiled, saying, “I’m just glad to see you’re feeling better. No more crying. You should probably take a rest, you had a pretty bad fall back there. You hit your head so hard, I don’t think you’ll remember it for a little while.”

Rose was puzzled, clearly lacking the memory of the fall she had supposedly taken, and turned without questioning the Doctor anymore to go lay down somewhere in the TARDIS. When she was gone, the Doctor set the TARDIS into motion, flying to get the flowers Rose had requested before her memory had been wiped.

The Doctor got a bouquet of forget-me-nots, sadly smiling at the little blue flowers for the forgotten boy, born in a blue box. He took them to Peter’s grave and placed them gently next to him. He stood in silence for a moment before saying, “She loves you. She misses you, and although she doesn’t know it, she wanted me to give these to you. She may not remember, but she won’t ever really forget. I think in her heart of hearts, she still knows you exist. It’s impossible to ever truly, wholly forget someone like you, Peter. I love you.”

The Doctor walked away from Peter’s grave and back towards the TARDIS. Rose was sound asleep, and when the Doctor went to check on her, she was crying again while dreaming. He felt bad for not being able to take all remnants of Peter from her mind, but like he said while he was delivering Rose’s flowers, it’s impossible to ever truly, wholly forget someone like Peter.

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