A beauty with thorns, they said. And so they called her Rose.
Rose grew up in a modest world. She was happy with her mother and her little life. A knight in tarnished armor arrived at her door every night trying to court her, offering her flowers and chocolate and promises he couldn't possibly keep in order to win her. It wasn't enough, really. None of it was enough.
Still, Rose was not unhappy. She had a roof over her head and the stars to stare up at every night. It just felt like there could be more than just this.
Then one day the Beast came.
Rose had been leaving work in the shop when this Beast, this creature she had never seen before, took her hand and pulled her from the danger she didn't know was right in front of her.
The Beast was gruff and harsh and battle scarred from long days at War. His leather hide was stretched tight across his skin and he growled at her advances to help him with his wounds. Every day she stretched a hand out to help him and finally he didn't snap at her touch. He looked at her like she was sunshine and he'd been in the dark and it hurt to see her but he needed her. It was a painful love, but she knew it was love. He was so old, his eyes told her that, and he needed her youth.
Her mother told her that the Beast was dangerous, that he would hurt her. She begged Rose not to go. Rose left with him anyway because she couldn't leave the Beast lonely, not when he stared at her with those pained blue eyes. It was not the first time she disobeyed her mother and it would not be the last.
The Beast's hands were warm and when he smiled (albeit rarely) it was like she had the sun reflected back at her. She thought she might like to spend forever with her fingers curled in the Beast's claws.
And so she spent years with him, his companion and friend. They ran through the streets and across the mountains and stars. He shed his leather skin for a fine brown wool, and his eyes turned brown and dark but still stared at her in that painful, ancient way. Now, he talked a lot but still sometimes he didn't need to say anything.
She changed when she was with him. She stopped caring about how she looked or if she wasn't good enough because when she ran down the street with the Beast she was perfect to him.
The Beast didn't have a human heart so he couldn't tell her he loved her, but she knew.
Then, one day, the world pulled them apart. She heard the Beast scream her name as she fell, fell, fell into a magical world with flying houses and a family like she'd always dreamed she might have. Her mother told her to be happy, but she could feel the Beast there, on the other side. He was out there and he needed her.
A cannon, she decided. She would propel herself through the worlds and find her Beast again. He was out there and she would find him.
It took many, many tries with the machine to send her where she wanted to go, and even then she could not find the Beast. So many tries and so many adventures.
After a while she did not mind so much. The wind of the universes would ripple through her hair and the weight of her purpose made her muscles strong and she'd spent so long as her mother's daughter and the Beast's companion that she hadn't realized how nice it was to be Rose.
But she wasn't Rose without her purpose and her purpose was to find the Beast. When she found him he had changed. He was dark and sad and lonely and as she threw her arms around him and told him she loved him, she didn't realize how much he'd changed. She loved him so much, her Beast, and in that moment being together was all that mattered.
He promised to live one life with her forever. At the moment he said it, she accepted because she would accept anything that the Beast offered to her. It was only later that she saw what had changed.
The Beast had become a Man.
He spoke more now, in a voice that she didn't always recognize and she couldn't always understand. His eyes were still brown but they didn't hold the ancient depths she remembered from before. His skin was blue and shiny but sometimes he wore jeans and a t-shirt because it was easier to fit in to the new world.
He was still clumsy and awkward but now each error made him more distant and afraid. He went to work and came home tired and would fall asleep next to her and she'd still feel alone. They no longer went running through the streets, but they walked there together sometimes.
The Man had a human heart and when he spoke to her he could tell her he loved her. And he did, he told her every day but sometimes she didn't know if he meant it.
They quarreled sometimes with raised voices and bruised egos. When they did, she would pull out the white trainers from her closet and put them on her feet and stare out the window at the stars while he sulked.
And she still loved him, her precious Man, but more often than not she wished he had never stopped being the Beast.
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,006
Inspired by this quote by Billie Piper.