Fandom Category: Doctor Who
Pairing: Rose Tyler/The Doctor
Fic Title: Incurable
Genre: Drama, introspection, missing moment
Why This Must Be Read: After the events of Love and Monsters, Rose has a question. The Doctor may or may not have an answer.
rosa_acicularis has been recced here before multiple times, so I was lucky (and astonished) that Incurable could had been missed. (Fortunate for me, though, because I was wondering what I would put in this category.) As for why this story in particular? Because it features the Doctor and Rose discussing love but coming to the sort of conclusions a nine-hundred-year-old alien would, while lying side by side on Rose Tyler's bed. I think it captures extraordinarily well the push-pull, verging on fulfilled dynamic between Ten and Rose, while keeping their characters absolutely in character.
“She was learning how to play bass guitar.”
He arched a puzzled eyebrow. “Sorry?”
“Ursula. Elton told me that, before all this happened, she’d been learning to play bass guitar. They had a sort of band, just for fun like, and no one played the bass so she’d volunteered to learn. She was better with the tambourine, he said.” She plucked idly at a loose thread in her pillow, not meeting his eyes. “He loved her. I could tell, the way he said it – he thought he’d lost her forever, that he had nothing left, but he really wanted me to know that she was good with a tambourine.”
He watched her soberly. “What happened to them isn’t fair.”
“No, it’s not, but that isn’t…” She dragged a hand through her hair and winced as her fingers found the knots. “People die. They get lost, or they lose, and we see it all the time. I don’t like to think I’ve gotten used to it, but maybe I have, a little. I understand the unfair things.” She tried to smile at him and he stared back, his eyes dark. “But, Elton and Ursula, they were in love, I think, and I…” She stopped, struggling to put the rest into words. “When I was small, Mum used to tell me stories about my dad. And I know now a lot of it wasn’t exactly true, but back then I didn’t. She called him her ‘true love’ and that’s what I thought it was like. That’s how I thought it worked.” She paused. “Like a fairy story. In all the universe, there was one person who was just for you and you were just for them, and if you lost them, that was it. That was the end.”
He chuckled, but it was a stilted, awkward sound. “Rose, are you asking me about the nature of love?”
Embarrassed, she covered her eyes with her hand and laughed uneasily. “Suppose I am.”