I had completed university back home in Australia and couldn’t stand the idea of going straight into full-time work after having spent essentially 16 years in full-time schooling. I applied for a working holiday visa to England and was elated when i was accepted. I bought my one way plane ticket, packed a few essentials, and headed toward what i thought would be an exciting 2 years. How i underestimated that. Upon my arrival i found a retail job in a shop in London and relished being surrounded by so much history and culture. It was there i first met Rose Tyler.
I envied her the moment i laid eyes on her. Skinny, blonde, gorgeous and with a smile that melted even my heart i avoided her at first, believing that she would be just another snobbish, mean-spirited bimbo like so many of the others girls at the shop were. Don’t get me wrong, i had made so many wonderful friends in my short time in London but for some reason, certain ones seemed distrustful of me. I assumed it was because i was a foreigner, or because i was perceived as a threat somehow but i didn’t let it bother me too much. After several weeks observing her however, i quietly came to like this small pink and yellow girl. The day i joined her for lunch was one of the best things i had ever done in my life. For if i had not done so that day, it is possible that i would never have met the Doctor.
Soon after that lunch time meeting we became the best of friends and i often found myself curled up on the couch at her mothers flat, drinking tea and laughing with her mother, Jackie. Rose’s boyfriend, Mickey, often joined us and i became quite content with the little life i was making for myself. Before I knew it almost a year had passed and i spent a glorious Christmas and New Years wrapped in friendship and love. I thought i had finally reached the peak of my life; great job, travel, wonderful friends, a family (as i had none back home), and the rest of my life stretched out before me. How small that all looks now, with hindsight and knowing what i now know. It was a great life, don’t get me wrong, but compared to the life the universe had prepared for me it was almost nothing. The night Rose worked the late shift, i was meant to be at the movies; instead i offered to swap shifts with one of the other girls because Rose hated her and dreaded having to share the same shift. This was a decision i have never regretted.
Walking toward the door to leave that evening, the security guard rattled a bag of money in Rose’s face. Rolling her eyes, she grabbed the bag and we headed toward the lift to take the lottery money to Wilson who was in the basement. Reaching our destination, we were put on guard by the fact that it was both eerily quiet and there were strange noises and clatterings. Calling Wilson’s name, Rose and i went to see if we could find him. Walking slowly through the basement area, i was struck by the fact there were a lot, and i mean a LOT of creepy mannequins down there. I was sure there hadn’t always been that many. Shrugging off the creepy feeling they gave me, i followed Rose as we continued the search. Suddenly, the doors banged shut behind us and we found ourselves locked in. The apprehension in Rose’s voice as she started talking out loud to ‘whoever was there’ was evident and it was then it happened. Out the corner of my eye, i saw one of the mannequins move. Turning to look at it, fear rose within me as it began to walk toward us. Turning to get Rose’s attention, i saw that she to was already aware of the fact as a second dummy was on the move. Soon, too many of the shop mannequins were moving menacingly toward us. Cornered, i started to reach for the vacuum cleaner pole leaning against the wall, and that’s when it happened. Warm flesh met my hand as another hand slipped into mine. Startled, i looked up and found myself looking into the face of a man with beautiful blue eyes. Looking back at me, his eyes almost twinkled as he said one word; “Run”. Grabbing Rose’s hand we did just that.
The historical data that exists for this event is pretty accurate actually. Really not that much changed, except that i no longer appear in it, nor any of the events over the next 2-4 years. So many adventures, so many things happening, and no-one to remember them except me. Well me and my human doctor.
After saving the Doctor and the world from the Auton’s, Rose, Mickey and I found ourselves standing outside the doctors crazy police box and he offered to let us go with him. Looking at each other, Rose and I ached to go but Mickey, poor sweet Mickey, was terrified and convinced Rose to stay. I was quite insecure then and the thought of travelling alone with a man i just met who owned a spaceship that looked like a police box and who i knew nothing about was a bit more than i could do alone so i refused him also. Almost sadly, he bid us farewell and left. Seconds later he reappeared, came to the door and informed us it travelled through time also. This time there was no holding back. Kissing Mickey one last time, Rose grabbed my hand and we ran toward the Doctor; toward the TARDIS, toward adventure and toward events that had now forever changed my life.
Over the next year, so much happened. Alien invasion of London, the death of the Earth, meeting the gorgeous, irresistible Jack Harkness, saving and then losing Rose’s dad and finding the last Dalek; so much that brought the three of us together and formed a bond that was greater than anything i had ever known, but none of it compared to the Doctor himself. It’s true that the 9th version of himself wasn’t the best looking. He had big years, a big nose and the funniest northern accent i had ever heard. How an alien came to sound British i never knew, and that accent in particular made me giggle. None of it mattered however, because by the time we encountered the Dalek, i was already besotted. I had never known anyone like him; so full of energy, knowledgeable, kind, passionate, lonely, gentle, caring. So much wrapped up in the skin of a man who was the last of his people. The TARDIS records pretty much everything for historical data so that when one day her journey ends, others will remember the history of how the universe came to be what it is. She didn’t record the small moments however, whether it be for privacy sake or because archaeologists just wouldn’t care i don’t know. I never did ask her. It was in those small moments that it happened. Talking about my life with him, sharing insights into life and the universe with us, the three of us always reaching for more of each other almost as though if we knew all there was to know, we could finally understand this crazy thing called life. No, he wasn’t the best-looking, yet, but i fell in love with his heart.
So you can understand the devastation I, and Rose felt, the day the Doctor as we knew him died. It wasn’t Rose who looked into the heart of the TARDIS that day. It was me. All that knowledge and power coursing through me was intoxicating and for a few minutes i knew what it was like to have the power of the universe in my hands. It was during this time i accidentally gifted Jack with eternal life. My poor Bo. I didn’t mean to ‘curse’ him the way i did. I simply meant to bring him back to life, but the TARDIS really only understood life in terms of the universe and since the universe never dies, so to does Jack. It is something i can never reverse, nor the TARDIS as he is now a fixed point in time and you don’t go messing with those. With all this power coursing through me I was able to stop the Daleks, a little over-dramatically i must admit. She may not look it, but the TARDIS is quite the drama queen and she is very much into theatrics. Having her heart and her mind coursing through me that day, I found myself saying and doing things i would never say or do. But i did what i intended to do; save the Doctor. He had saved countless lives over countless years and for once, someone got to save him. All that power and knowledge coursing through me and it didn’t tempt me in the slightest. The reason i wished to keep that which i had gained was that finally i understood the Doctor, and he knew it, but he was right. I was burning. To gain so much so quickly was overwhelming me and I was at risk of dying. The Doctor, my beautiful, brave Doctor, knew that and determined to once again save my life. Taking me in his arms, his lips moved agonisingly slow toward mine and the moment we kissed, i found true joy. I must admit that simply because it was so painful, i played down the kiss in the rewritten version of events. The Doctor, and therefore the universe, may never remember what happened that day but i do and to have him kiss Rose as he kissed me, even in a pretend memory, is to much to bear. The kiss we shared lasted for what felt like an eternity. Our lips found one another and moved as though they were one. We wrapped ourselves in an embrace so tight i couldn’t tell where i ended and he started and for the longest time, there was nothing else but him and me and this feeling between us. To finally know in that moment that he felt at least something of what i did filled me with joy hotter than the knowledge burning my mind at that moment. We forgot where we were and why we were there and forgot also that Rose was watching. Nothing else existed. When we finally broke free i didn’t faint as I created the memory to show, but watched as the Doctor calmly, with a look of utter acceptance, gave the TARDIS back her heart. Taking my hand and Rose’s he lead us into the TARDIS and steered us toward home.
Once inside I knew something was wrong. He seemed distracted and didn’t for a moment flatter myself into thinking it was because of our kiss. No, something was troubling my Doctor and fear gripped me. He started babbling about Barcelona and dogs with no noses and Rose and I looked at each other in concern. Trying to make sense of what he was saying, Rose asked what was going on and then he explained, quite badly, regeneration to us. As humans we don’t really have a concept of regeneration. The closest we get might be reincarnation but its not the same, nowhere near. As he talked about having two heads or no head i took a step toward him. Shooting me a look, i stopped dead in my tracks. A look of pure grief, devastation and loss was etched over every feature. With that look it was as though he were saying goodbye and i hated myself instantly because i knew this was my fault. I had saved the universe from the daleks, yes, but at what cost? By saving my life was the man i loved about to lose his? I once again took a half step toward him but this time he smiled, just slightly, and told Rose and I that we had been fantastic. He said so much more than that but my memory fails at this point, i was so busy worrying about him. Glancing at me one last time, he complimented himself by saying he was fantastic too and was suddenly engulfed in a fantastic golden light. It looked like a sun exploding from every pore in his body and i cried out. Right before my eyes i saw his features twitch and shift and mold themselves into different positions. His physical shape changed also and the clothes he wore now seemed to large. In seconds it was over and before us stood a different man. And he was gorgeous.