“I didn’t come here because I thought you needed me,” he said, his voice low. “I knew you didn’t. I didn’t come because I missed you, though I did. I didn’t come because I love you, though I think I must, given the evidence.” His thumb traced the curve of her cheek. “I came back because I’m old and tired and selfish, Rose, and I wanted to see you again. Because I finally could, and I didn’t think of the consequences.”
Rose closed her eyes. There was a sour taste in her mouth, like metal and blood and heartbreak, and she almost didn’t have the breath to say what needed to be said. “I can’t go with you.” She turned her face away, and his hands fell to his sides. “I’m sorry. I can’t leave them again.”
There was a silence. “If you can’t come with me,” he said, “can I come with you?”
Her eyes snapped open. “What does that mean?”
“I don’t know,” he said, his expression wary. “What do you want it to mean?”
Rose Tyler has always been my favorite Doctor Who character. Most people think it’s one of the Doctors, probably Ten, but I’ve always loved Rose best. To quote the Doctor, “Everything she did was so… human.” She was adventurous and clever and passionate, but she was also reckless and juvenile and selfish. In other words, she was allowed to be a human character with human flaws. That’s something we, unfortunately, rarely get to see in a female character. And so I was really annoyed with the “Doomsday”/”Journey’s End” plotline that stranded her in an alternate universe, brought her back, and then sent her back permanently. It felt like a half-assed compromise between the part of the fanbase that wanted Rose gone and the part that wanted her to stay, and it didn’t particularly make much sense.
As for character development, I was thrilled that older Rose got to take a level in badass, capitalizing on all her positive traits—but less than thrilled that any character development with her negative traits was left to the wayside. Still so selfish. Willing, again, to give up her family at the drop of a hat to be with the Doctor. Eventually I came to realize that the Rose/Doctor relationship that I wanted to happen (as opposed to the one we were given) wasn’t possible within the constraints of the show. Rose would always have to fight her way back to the Doctor, where the plot was happening, and the Doctor would always need a rotating crew of young female companions for, I dunno, reasons.
Fortunately, when life gives you crap TV, write fanfic, right?
Possibilities, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bananas, by rosa_acicularis, picks up while Rose is still stuck in Pete’s World—nine years after the events of “Doomsday”. She, Mickey, and Jake work for Torchwood, and in her off time she helps take care of her new little brother, Reggie, and tries to shrug off Jackie’s constant nagging for Rose to go on dates. In short, Rose didn’t waste her time pining; she grew up. And then one day, bananas start appearing everywhere: in her sink, in Jackie’s clothing, in the office copier. And as Rose, who’s every bit the smart young lady she was in Doctor Who, soon finds out, the bananas are positively crawling with void stuff.
This fic is hilarious and every single character is excellently written: every line of dialogue sounds like something that could have come from the show. I finished reading it and actually had to read it again, immediately, because I was laughing too much the first time. Most importantly, rosa_acicularis gives us the take on the Rose/Doctor relationship that I always wanted: one where Rose loved her family too much to leave them, and one where the Doctor chose to follow her instead of angsting on his own.
Possibilities, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bananas can be found here on AO3! It’s only 13k, so it’s a good long fic, yet not long enough at the same time. Go read it today!