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FIC: Better Off Alone (1/1)

Title: Better Off Alone
Series: There's The Door!
Rating: T
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: The newly born Tenth Doctor makes a realization during The Christmas Invasion: he doesn't need Rose anymore.
Disclaimer: Still not mine. Not Rose-friendly, but not outright hostile, either. Unless you think she's justified in acting the way she does here.
Dedication: I figure this wouldn't exist without tardis_mole, or some chatting with cassikat. So... :)
Author's Note: This almost turned into the parallel story to “Starting Over,” but I knew that would be a long one. SO is going to be much longer than I thought, anyway. So this is a short piece.

Better Off Alone

Started May 23, 2012
Finished February 6, 2013

The Tenth Doctor, finally starting to get over post-regeneration sickness, had changed into the first of his new clothes. He looked at the final result: brown pinstripes, a suit shirt, a tie, trainers, and an overcoat that many a detective in stories might wear.

Okay, he was thinner, and he had a number of weaknesses due to the regeneration failing in ways because of that Vortex energy. The former he could deal with – he always adjusted to what his new body and personality were like. But the weaknesses? He could only hope the TARDIS infirmary could help him with those.

Rose Tyler needed a few choice words. She couldn't do whatever she felt like – there were other people to think of! He'd learned while he chose his clothing that the TARDIS hadn't wanted to allow Rose entrance. And wouldn't have if she hadn't been helping carry him, so it seemed. She hadn't been able to demateralize or fly away, that much was certain. His ship had always been weird about companions, but Rose had been grating the Old Girl's nerves since the visit to 1987.

Oh, Rose wasn't nineteen, he finally realized. She's not even eighteen biologically. No wonder she's so immature.

Jackie must have had her hands full raising a child without her husband, and she wasn't coping well with losing Pete. No wonder Rose got so many mixed messages – she was spoiled and not told no anywhere near enough times.

And Mickey... he wasn't an idiot at all. Why did he act like one? Because he encountered racism? Because it was for Rose's sake because she'd been hurt before? Whatever the reason, it wasn't doing any of them any good.

The TARDIS then told him that the ashes from the explosion were falling. Should he tell them that it wasn't snow falling?

Sighing, he headed for the Control Room. This confrontation was going to be unpleasant.

He exited and watched how everyone was marveling over the “snow.” He suppressed a groan. Delight would turn to disgust if he said anything. Maybe he shouldn't spoil it for them. At least not for Jackie and Mickey.

Rose saw him and beamed, laughing. “Doctor, isn't this wonderful?!”

The human ability to recover from disaster? Yes. Perhaps some ignorance really was bliss. But he wouldn't be able to save people or planets or time with that deep a lack of knowledge or compassion. “Rose, I need your mobile and the TARDIS key.”


He held out his hand. “Now.” He used a tone that usually got people to do his bidding – he rarely used it because it took a lot of focus, and he saved that for dire situations.

She had them out before she even knew what she was doing. The Doctor had seized them by the time her mind clicked into awareness. “What for?”

He pocketed the key, pulling out his sonic an instant later. A quick buzz against the phone, and he handed it back. “Mickey, do you realise that you have a genius-level IQ?”

The young man froze, blinking. “Really?”

The Doctor nodded seriously. “Yes, you do. I normally don't recommend working for places that like using guns, but I know that UNIT would help you with your education. Find out what your talents are and use them to help the Earth. That you've helped me and that I can put in a good word for you will go a long way. You'll manage the rest.” He handed him a card. “Contact this man and arrange a meeting. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is an old friend of mine. He'll pave the way for you.”

Mickey looked at the card, and then beamed at the Doctor. “Thanks.” It was the opportunity of a lifetime, and he wasn't going to waste it! He'd been handed a shot at a brighter future!

The Doctor looked at Jackie. “You have a good brain, Jackie Tyler. I bet you could manage as an herbalist or a tea-maker, but not in the cafe sense. My friend's wife should be able to connect you with some people. Get yourself a good job and stop chasing men. Make something of your life. And stop spoiling your daughter – it's done neither of you any favours.”

Jackie was dumbstruck. Torn between the comments about how she'd lived her life, and the chance to better herself. But the thought that she'd spoiled Rose wasn't foreign to her, so she nodded slowly, unsure what else to say.

Then the Doctor turned to Rose. “Goodbye, Rose. It's time for us to part ways. Forever.”

She shook her head hard. “No! You're not leaving me! Not after all I did for you!”

“All you did?” His tone was controlled, but lethal. “You brought Reapers down on Earth, you committed genocide, you ripped the TARDIS open, and you killed me. Oh, you saved the day by dumb luck a few times, but you were mostly a millstone around my neck. I was so relieved to have a companion again that I overlooked your glaring faults. Chief of which is how you're using me to evade any sense of responsibility whatosever.”

“Wait!” Rose latched onto one detail of that tirade. “I'm not your first?!”

The Doctor groaned. “Which proves my point. You think you have a monopoly on things because I've been around. Well, no more. Get a job and grow up, you daft bint! As much as I don't like it, I'm better off alone.”

Rose was too shocked to react until he'd already stepped inside and closed the doors. She screamed incoherently and rushed forward, pounding the doors mercilessly. The gist was a command for the Doctor to “stop playing the fool and come back!” She ignored the efforts to get her to be quiet and stop.

AWen the TARDIS vanished out of her life forever, she screamed in greater anger, ignoring the onlookers who now yelled for her to be quiet. Her mother and her soon to-be ex-boyfriend sighed in shame and frustration.


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