Characters/Pairings: Ten, Rose, Ten/Rose UST
Summary: The Doctor takes Rose to a new, strange planet where the rain isn't all it appears!
Word Count: 1,771
Original Story: http://www.whofic.com/viewstory.php?sid=12267 by Dr Victoria Rose
Notes: Special thanks to my darling partner in crime for the beta!
Rose could always tell when they'd landed somewhere new.
Maybe it was the quiet of the ship when she first woke up in the morning, the distinct lack of engine motion. Or maybe it was the bustling about of the Doctor in rooms other than the console room. Or, maybe it was just the general air of excitement.
Whatever it was, when Rose woke, she knew they'd landed. And, wherever it was, it was going to be brilliant.
"Make sure you wear something you don't mind getting dirty!" the Doctor called to her as he darted past her room towards one of the engine rooms in the back. Rose stopped pulling on her favorite pair of jeans and opted, instead, for a torn pair.
"Isn't that for every planet we land on?" she called out, cinching the waist. "I lost a really nice jacket on that moon at Faraday."
"Well, I forgot they spat eternal-stink slime," the Doctor called back. "But this is a bit different. This planet sort of, well, it…stains. No stink-slime, though, I promise!"
From how close his voice rang through the door, Rose could only guess he was probably leaning against the doorframe or the door to her bedroom itself. Grinning a wicked grin, she stepped towards the door and carefully put her hand on the knob.
"Stains?" she said, feigning absorption in their conversation.
"Yeah, of the do-not-wear-again variety. Well, unless you're on Yvetos Minor. Got a funny sort of sun on Yvetos. No color on that planet, everything turns out a funny shade of grey. Not that grey isn't a good color, it's just not the sort you want for everything you're wearing. And too many adventures on Yvetos. We're in need of a holiday from adventures, you and I. And me, well, I'm---"
Rose took a breath, got a grip on the knob, and pulled the door open sharply. As she'd hoped, the Doctor fell backwards, his support suddenly gone, and with an awkward flail, he landed on his backside.
"Oof!" His expression was stunned as he looked up at her. Rose laughed. It was always nice to knock her companion down a notch or two, especially when he was rambling on about somewhere he clearly knew quite well.
The Doctor pouted. "Yes, well." Like a cat who'd missed a ledge, he tried to get to his feet and shake off the fall as if it were something he'd intended from the very beginning. He brushed off his striped trousers and gave Rose a grin. "Ready?"
It was the first time that Rose remembered seeing the Doctor out of his pinstripe suit since he'd changed. Oh, the jim jams on occasion, and once in the tuxedo, but other than that… this was very casual for him. He wore green trainers that Rose had never seen before, a pair of striped cricketing trousers, and a grey jumper. Rose felt her chest tighten. It was the grey jumper he wore underneath his leather jacket, back when he was the...well, the Doctor she'd known the first time around.
"You're wearing that," she said, gesturing to his outfit.
He looked down. "Yep," he said. "Can't have the suit stained, it's my only one. Though, I have thought about getting another one cut out, maybe in a different color, like blue. Do you think I'd look good in blue? I can't decide how I feel about blue."
"No, that shirt," she said. "I mean, you don't want to keep it?"
His expression was a little startled and a little confused. "No, that's why I'm wearing it now."
"Right." Rose realized her voice had turned quiet, almost petulant. It was stupid, she thought to herself, but it felt like her new boyfriend (he wasn't a boyfriend, even though her mind immediately used that word) had decided he was perfectly a-ok with ruining something from her old boyfriend. A boyfriend she'd never see again. Ever.
Stupid, of course. Even if Rose had found that shirt in the wardrobe room (which she had) she couldn't have gained anything from it. He certainly didn't look like the tall man from the North she knew in it, and the honey-like Doctor smell that clung to the shirt was the same one that clung to his brown suit. Sure, the Doctor's new smell had a note of clean cotton instead of old leather, but it was, essentially, the same. All appearance aside, he was the same man.
"Right," the Doctor said, clapping his hands and aiming once again for confidence. "New planet, you'll love it."
Rose followed him, pushing herself to regain the enthusiasm from before. "So, what's this planet called?" she asked.
"Iris," the Doctor said. "Originally uninhabited, it's named when you lot first land on it in the year…89999, I think? Something like that."
"Iris," Rose repeated. "Isn't that one of the Greek gods?"
"Very good!" the Doctor enthused. He instinctively grabbed for his coat, then remembered and put it back down. "The goddess of color and the rainbow."
Now this was something to be excited about. Rose half-bounced on her way to the door, a huge grin splitting her face in two. "So this planet's colorful? Rainbows?"
"Something like that. Human explorers called it the world of painted color." The Doctor beamed a smile identical to Rose's. "Go on!"
Without hesitation, Rose threw open the door and hopped out, her trainers sinking into warm mud. Above her, the sky was alive with moving dark stormclouds which blotted out the three white suns. The atmosphere was gloomy, oppressive, and the entire landscape was brown mud. Thick, heavy droplets of rain fell all around her, wetting her hair and clothes. She started and tried to pull her t-shirt tighter around her. She immediately longed for her comfortable red jacket, the one she thought she wouldn't want to wear, not if she wanted it to be ruined.
"World of painted color?" Rose asked, shaking her head. "If I wanted rain like this, I'd have stayed in London."
"No, you couldn't," the Doctor said from behind her. "Besides, if we went to London, we'd have to visit your mother. Not on my list of things to do today."
Rose shook her head, looking out at the bleak, muddy landscape. "I don't get it, what's so special about this rain?"
She turned, then, to look back at the Doctor. Her eyes widened. The TARDIS, usually a drab sort of blue, was speckled with dripping colors. Each drop of rain that hit the police box's top smeared a new, bright color against its surface. She looked down at her arm, now soaked from the rain, to see that each drop was staining her skin and shirt, too. It was as though she'd been in a paintfight, like she did in art class as a little girl.
"The legends say that each drop of rain has a unique pigment of color, so it's impossible to know what color will hit you until it does." As he spoke, the Doctor stepped from the shade of the TARDIS and immediately became peppered with different pigments. The once grey jumper he wore now speckled and sparkled with color, and each spike of his hair seemed to gain a different shade.
"Does it stay like this?" Rose asked, gesturing to her hand, and then to the TARDIS.
"Nah," the Doctor replied. "A few rounds in some normal rain should clear you, me, and the TARDIS up. But for some reason, it really likes sticking to clothes. Never figured out why."
He hopped ahead, leading Rose to a muddy, sloping cliffside. Below them, the water coursed, milky and white with droplets of color hitting it in a torrent of rainbow. She grinned, and then squinted to see out further, out to the horizon. The three suns had peeked through the stormclouds at last, and the landscape that was once brown and muddy now shone as it was, a torrent of multicolored drops swirling together.
She looked down at her once white shoes, now swirled with rainbow rain to an impossible to decipher pattern. A pair of shoes that had once been green stepped towards her.
"It's brilliant, isn't it?" the Doctor asked. He reached out and gently fingered a lock of her blonde hair. It was pink, a bright bubblegum shade. A droplet of blue rain fell on it, changing the color to a sharp, iridescent blue.
"It's every punk rock fantasy I ever had when I was thirteen," she said with a laugh.
"Even better," the Doctor said, "Because it never stops raining. Never. Colors come and go and come back again."
"And no one knows how?" Rose asked. "Not where the pigments come from?"
"Nope," he replied. "It's beyond scientific explanation. Well, doesn't really need an explanation, I think. Pretty wonderful being inexplicable." He smiled, and his teeth were still a bright white, even though his bottom lip now had a crease of dark blue along it and his top lip was a strange sort of yellow.
Moments like this, they were almost perfect. So close to perfect. Him there, smelling sweet like honey and clean like cotton, despite the falling rainbow rain. And her, there with him.
"Inexplicable," Rose agreed. "Like love."
To her surprise, the Doctor's expression fell at her words. No matter how much peony-pink or lavender purple ran down his eyebrows, his eyes were dark. Old. Sad. Rose didn’t understand why words like "love" made the Doctor sad, all she knew was that they did. They always had.
"How long do you want to stay with me, Rose?" he asked. It wasn't the first time he asked and it certainly wasn't the first time Rose replied the same way.
Rose knew 'forever' was a better word than love, to the Doctor. Forever wasn't about heartbreak (or was it heartsbreak?) and whatever it was that made him so sad. Forever was the time she wanted with him. The rest of her life on the TARDIS. As long as she could.
From somewhere down the cliffside, there was a sudden, ear-piercing scream.
The Doctor looked behind Rose, and Rose spun to try to see. Some people were running, their military uniforms quickly ruined by the multi-colored rain.
"So much for a holiday. These outer rim worlds. They always have some adventure waiting for us," the Doctor said, though Rose didn't have to turn back to know he was grinning.
"Wouldn't be a perfect trip if there wasn't," Rose reminded him.
She reached down and took his hand. He curled his fingers with hers and together, they ran.