fogsblue: (rose)
[personal profile] fogsblue
Title: A Chapter Can Be a Book
Rating: All Ages
Characters: Ten/Rose, Reinette, Jack, Donna, Wilf, Jackie
Summary: It's 'The Decoy Bride' with Doctor Who characters. The Doctor is meant to be marrying Reinette, but in order to confuse the press, they use a decoy. Things don't go according to plan...
A/N: First things first, huge thanks to silverlunarstar for agreeing to beta this. And secondly, it's less an AU and more a rewrite with different characters. And thanks to kahki for the title.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 |


Donna popped her head over the bannister, panicked, and said, “Okay! Don’t flip out, but the Doctor and that girl, they’ve escaped.”

Jack, who had been resting on the stairs, holding the Doctor’s book, took a deep breath. As he let it out he tore and ripped at the book, imagining it was the Doctor. It was not fair, he thought, how had things gotten so far out of his control? He finally managed to tear the book in half and threw the pieces to the ground.

“We need local intelligence,” Jack said, wondering if intelligence could be found on the island, “Who’s that awful woman?”

___________________________________________________________

That ‘awful’ woman was Jackie Tyler, who had been sitting at the B and B, wondering how things were going for Rose.

When Jack knocked on the door asking about Reinette, the Doctor ,and his decoy, Jackie lied, “I don’t know where any of them are! No one’s been here.”

Jack wondered why she thought he’d buy that and said, “Yeah, see, I just don’t believe you.”

“Look,” said Jackie, not willing to tell this man anything. “They could be anywhere by now.”

As he walked closer, Jack crossed his arms and glared at Jackie. “But I think you know where they are. And I think, for the right price, you’ll tell me.”

Jackie knew that the idea that she was for sale was her own fault, but for a man who seemed to think he could read people, he seemed unable to realise what she would pass for the sake of Rose.

___________________________________________________________

“I didn’t sell your wedding,” said Rose, as she and the Doctor walked across the island. “My Mum did. She’s dying and a bit pissed off about it.”

Feeling slightly guilty, the Doctor said, “Oh, I’m sorry.”

“She just wants to see the world before she goes,” said Rose, who wanted to defend her mother; she understood her mum’s desire to see and do more.

Even the Doctor understood that.

They neared the old public toilets and Rose, unable to resist, said, “Ah look, it’s my country residence!”

Before the Doctor had a chance to respond, he heard the noise of a small crowd and looked down the small hill beside them. Photographers, at least half a dozen of them.

“Quick, come on! Come on!” the Doctor said as loudly as he dares, then grabbed Rose by the arm and dragged her into the public toilets.

Once inside they rushed into the cubicle and crouched down to wait.

Moments later they heard a couple of people walk in and one said, “Where in God’s name are we?”

“This book says it’s a wildlife centre,” the other said.

“I don’t believe a bloody word, what with your map reading,” replied the original, getting frustrated.

The second defensively said, “Nah, it’s the book, it’s all wrong. And so heavy.”

Inside the cubicle, the Doctor had to admit it was true and as he and Rose glanced at each other, neither managed to stifle their giggles very well.

The photographers heard the giggles and one asked, “Hello, is somebody there?”

Rose decided to help the Doctor out and flipped the hood of her coat up. She found a pot and an old wooden spoon, what they were doing in a public toilet was anyone’s guess, and burst out the cubicle door.

“Incomers! Incomers!” she shouted, sounding crazed and banging the pot with the spoon.

“Sorry love,” said the photographer, who looked rather unnerved. “Didn’t realise anyone lived here.”

As she had some idea that she’d be embarrassed about this later, Rose waved her spoon at the photographers and said, “I’ll throw another puffin on the griddle for ye!”

““No thanks,” they said as they backed away from Rose, now completely unnerved and almost ran from the toilets.

Rose sighed a little to herself. One day she wouldn’t have to go around doing the most ridiculous things, right?

The Doctor emerged from his hiding spot, feeling very thankful to Rose, but unsure sure how to express it, so instead made a joke. “Griddled puffin? On a Friday?”

Rose gave that tongue-touched grin of hers and accepted that as a thank you.

“Ah, our first home,” said the Doctor, oddly tickled by the idea. “What a life we could have had.”

“Yeah,” replied Rose. “Come on.”

Unable to stop smiling, the Doctor followed Rose as she led the way out.

___________________________________________________________

As they continued their walk to the Reverend’s house, under a clearing sky, the Doctor asked, “So you think this Reverend Jones can help untangle us?”

“Well, I can’t recall going to her with a similar problem,” said Rose, with a small laugh, “but yes, she’ll know what to do.”

Rose hoped anyway; she wasn’t sure what else she could do if Harriet didn’t have a solution. Before she could begin dwelling on her feelings, Rose offered some small talk. “There’s something about islands, isn’t there, or is it just that I’m from one?”

The Doctor continued walking as he considered for a moment before he said, “No, there’s something about islands.”

“And this is just Hegg, we’re the plain Jane of the Hebride’s,” joked Rose, as they neared a stone wall. “You should see Barra, it’s stunning.”

“I like this one,” said the Doctor as he jumped onto a low part of the wall before he paused to admire the, currently, sun-touched scenery. “Beautiful.” With a small smile, he looked at Rose, just watching her for a moment. “I wish I’d come here sooner.”

Though it was not said, Rose realised that what he actually meant was he wished he’d come here before; before his book, before Reinette. Rose smiled slightly at the indication that she wasn’t entirely alone in how she was feeling.

“YAH!” shouted the Doctor, as Rose watched him be pulled out of sight, off the fence.

“Stay away from her city boy!” his attacker yelled, right before he punched the Doctor’s face.

“Mickey!” said Rose, as she jumped over the fence, shocked at Mickey’s behaviour. Why would he act like this?

As he cradled his jaw, the Doctor saw it was the handsome black man from the calendar. “Mister April?”

Frustrated that this man, city boy, he corrected himself, who’d only been on the island for a day, was with Rose. Mickey hadn’t thought before he’d launched himself at the Doctor. He didn’t even know what they were doing together, but it made him angry and he said, “You come over here, taking our women.”

“Your women?” asked Rose, annoyed.

Mickey flicked a quick glance at Rose before he suddenly tried to hit the Doctor, who rolled out of the way and stood up, again.

 “Mickey, don’t!” yelled Rose as she tried to stop this from turning into a brawl.

“Run away with me,” a desperate Mickey pleaded. “I never thought I had a chance with you, until you came back to the island and then… Marry me?”

Rose couldn’t believe it and wondered what Mickey was thinking as she stated, “You are married, to Martha!”

“But I don’t want her, I never wanted her,” said Mickey, some part of him knowing it was a lie, but then, “I always wanted you.”

The Doctor could see how uncomfortable Rose was, but it was the slight jealousy that actually made him speak up. “Shame. You’re married, she’s married. N’aw, what a tragedy.”

“She’s married?” asked Mickey, shocked; he’d known Rose for years and couldn’t believe she’d have wed without him knowing. “Who to?”

“To me!” replied the Doctor, smugly indicating himself.

Mickey looked at Rose and questioned, “Is that true?”

Rose sort of shrugged and half-smiled an agreement at Mickey. He looked towards the Doctor, who took the opportunity to wave his ring at him and smirk.

“Right then,” said Mickey, as he pushed his sleeves up. “I’ll fight you for her.”

“No,” sighed Rose, not quite ready to believe what he was doing.

The Doctor had never been much of a fighter and hurriedly said, “No no, I don’t fight.”

“I win, I get to keep her,” said Mickey before he launched himself at the Doctor.

Rose tried to gain Mickey’s attention to stop him, but had no luck as he and the Doctor collided. After a moment of twisting around, the Doctor had Mickey in an awkward hold which left him unable to do much. The Doctor took the opportunity to throw Mickey into the nearby hay pile.

Mickey struggled to catch his breath and told Rose, “I wanted to grow old with you. You’re beautiful and clever now; it’s easy to love you now. But I’ll still love you when the wind’s dried you out, and when you’re old and broken.”

As she allowed Mickey’s words to sink in, she was distracted when he asked, “Will he?”

Behind Rose, the Doctor was picturing the old smiling deaf couple he’d watched and imagining himself in their place, but who would he be dancing with?

Unaware of the struggle going on behind her, Rose was amazed at such romantic ideas coming from Mickey, but as wonderful as they were, she knew that he wasn’t for her.

“Mickey, I’m sorry,” replied Rose, and then told him what he already knew. “Go back to Martha, sort it out. She loves you. It’s better when people love you back.”

“So do you love him?” he questioned, gesturing over her shoulder to the Doctor.

The Doctor snuck a quick look at Rose, not sure whether or not he wanted her to answer that question. And not sure what he’d do if she did answer.

Ignoring the question, Rose offered her hand to Mickey to help him up. “Come on.”

Embarrassed as he was, Mickey declined Rose’s offer and said, “I’m alright here.”

Rose tried to offer Mickey a smile as the Doctor watched her turn away from him and they continued their journey.

___________________________________________________________

Pausing at one of Hegg’s headlands, the Doctor and Rose looked towards the horizon, the sky clouding over again as they dropped a little lower. It was a beautiful spot, with a gorgeous view.

“Wow,” said the Doctor, “this is just amazing.”

“I used to come out here a lot, on my own,” said Rose quietly. As she was growing up, and in the time before she left the island, she had been lonely, though she wouldn’t have told anyone and had spent much time there, enjoying the peace and quiet.

Rose turned to the Doctor and just looked at him, not sure why she had admitted that and worried about what he might say. For his part, the Doctor didn’t know how to respond. He liked that she opened up to him a bit, but was worried about why he felt that was important.

Doing what he always did when he was uncomfortable, the Doctor started moving again. Rose dropped her head a little as she remembered where they were headed and why. She gathered herself and began walking again.

___________________________________________________________

“You’ve only been married five minutes and already chasing after another woman? Why not give this marriage a go first?” asked Reverend Harriet Jones, a bit disappointed.

Harriet had known Rose since she was a child, running around the island without a father to watch over her. Though she would admit Jackie did a god job of looking out for Rose when it counted.

“Because the woman he’s engaged to is Reinette Poisson,” replied Rose, expecting that to explain everything.

Harriet just stared at Rose and the Doctor, seated side by side on her couch, with some idea that the name should mean something, but unsure as to what exactly.

The Doctor was surprised when there was no response and added, “She’s an actress.”

The small smile fell from Harriet’s face and she blinked, still not quite understanding. She didn’t understand what part the woman being an actress played in the Doctor wanting to divorce Rose.

Continuing on the Doctor’s behalf, Rose thought maybe Harriet would understand better if she explained.

“She’s ultra-beautiful, mind blowing-ly talented,” at that, the Doctor nodded slightly while Rose continued, “And rare, and fine, and modest, and generous, and nice, and brilliant, at everything.”

As the Doctor listened to Rose list Reinette’s qualities, according to him, he went through a few thoughts. Reinette was stunning and talented, but he made a wry face at the term rare. Was she a bird? When Rose said modest, he quirked his lip and realised while Reinette didn’t boast, she was not precisely shy about her achievements. He acknowledged she was nice, but he wasn’t sure that was to everyone. And when Rose said Reinette was brilliant at everything, he grimaced; there were some things she couldn’t do perfectly, like make him laugh.

Despite the list, which Harriet felt sounded more like an advertisement than the words of someone in love, she tried to explain the problem, “But, he’s married to you.”

“Exactly! A mind blowing-ly ordinary shop girl from Hegg. Bit of a come down,” said Rose in self-depreciation and the Doctor stared at her.

The Doctor was saddened to realise she actually believed that, that she was ordinary and boring, and said quietly, “You’re not ordinary.”

Rose turned to the Doctor and tried to smile. As much as she wished to believe him, she didn’t think he was right but tried to humour him. They watched each other for a moment until Harriet spoke again.

“She could be Miss Universe, with a Nobel Peace Prize and she’d still be wrong for somebody,” said Harriet, trying to make the Doctor understand.

Harriet might not have been married herself, but she could see what people could have between them, and Rose and this Doctor could be so much.

She continued, still hopeful one of them would understand, “Weddings are like sunsets, the romance of a moment. Marriage is the sea into which that red suns sets.”

“We got married by mistake,” the Doctor said, feeling like Harriet was missing something, or maybe he was but not giving it thought. “Probably not the strongest basis for an enduring marriage.”

Rose quietly added, “No.”

Resigned to the fact they wanted a divorce, Harriet explained, “Well then, in days past the McNeil’s of Barra, huge ginger brutes, would come to Hegg to steal our sheep and snatch a wife at the same time. But, if we could reclaim the woman before consummation, the marriage didn’t count. It’s still in Hegg law.”

There was a pause as Harriet gave them a moment to let that information sink in before she continued.

“So, if we can make it to Cathedral Cove by nightfall, your license with Miss Poisson would still be valid, and the original ceremony could go ahead as planned. If that’s what you really want?” she asked gently, as she noted the misery on Rose’s face.

The Doctor avoided directly answering the question, feeling unsure in a way he was not used to, and instead asked, “How long have we got before it gets dark?”

Out her window, Harriet could see that the sun sat low in the sky and said, “About half an hour. When God made time, he made plenty of it. When God made twine, he made balls of it.”

Rose and the Doctor both felt and looked slightly perplexed at that, but neither had a chance to question Harriet before she continued.

“Well, you think about it while I get my things ready,” said Harriet, beginning to leave before she paused with a question. “One last thing, has the marriage been consummated?”

“Nooo,” the Doctor and Rose said simultaneously before the Doctor continued, “I just haven’t had time.”

 Harriet sighed. “When God made time…”

___________________________________________________________

Outside the possibly haunted public amenity, Jackie sat in her wheelchair and watched the sunset. She waited for the moment when she heard Jack say, “Hello?”

Maybe it was cruel to pick on the Americans, she thought, but it was fun.

Donna and Jack carefully entered the building, feeling a little nervous, and rather scared.

“Reinette?” called Jack, concerned; he waited a moment before he continued in a tone that sounded a lot like resignation. “Doctor?”

“Why’s she bought us here?” asked Donna, feeling very confused and not liking it in the least.

“What is this place?” Jack wondered in disgust when he and Donna hear d a low groaning noise and scared, without thought he put his hand out to grab hers. Donna smiled; she’d remember this the next time Jack was being an arse.

___________________________________________________________

“How d’you know when you’ve met the ‘one’?” Rose asked the Doctor. The question had been on her mind since just after she’d almost drowned. Taking the opportunity, she’d decided that it was time to see if the he had an answer.

“When you look at them you find yourself singing, ‘You are the Wind Beneath my Wings’,” joked the Doctor, as he covered the fact he didn’t have a real answer.

Rose laughed a little. “Is that what happens when you’re with Reinette?”

The Doctor felt like he should say yes, but as that was a question he felt unsure about, he instead evaded with ease of much practice and replied, “You know, they asked ten thousand men to name their ideal partner and nine thousand eight hundred said Reinette. Statistically speaking that includes at least eight hundred gay men.”

“If you’re male and Reinette Poisson is interested in you, she’s the one. It’s kind of a rule,” the Doctor carried on, while Rose wondered about that, questioning if she missed something, because that seemed an odd way to choose the person to spend your life with.

“If you can’t be happy with Reinette Poisson, you can’t be happy with anyone,” finished the Doctor, though a large part of him was saying, as he looked at Rose, that he knew what he’d just said was a lie.

___________________________________________________________

“You are sure about this? Because you seem like a good match to me,” asked Harriet, as she led the Doctor and Rose towards the Cove.

Neither answered her, steadfastly avoiding eye contact with the other. For Rose, she’d come to accept she didn’t want to do this while the Doctor kept telling himself he did, trying to ignore the small voice that was telling him otherwise.

___________________________________________________________

Not far from the Doctor, Rose, and Harriet, Reinette walked into Cathedral Cove. She smiled, admiring the rock formations and natural beauty of the island as she rested the Doctor’s book on a nearby rock and waited for him to arrive with the priest.

___________________________________________________________

On the rocks nearby, Harriet asked, “Do you, John Smith, take Rose Tyler as your lawful wedded wife?

The Doctor, quiet but sounding more certain than he felt replied, “No, I do not.”

“And do you, Rose Tyler, take John Smith as your lawful wedded husband?” Harriet put before Rose.

“Absolutely not, no,” answered Rose, trying to keep her mood light. “Thank you.”

Harriet watched Rose and sighed. “I would ask if you would now remove and return your rings as a sign that you’re not married.”

The Doctor swallowed and turned to look at Rose, who couldn’t bring herself to look away from Harriet. She didn’t want to break down in front of him. When the Doctor raised his hand to remove his ring, Rose saw it out of the corner of her eye and moved to remove hers. Well Reinette’s really, she thought, it had never been hers.

As one they placed the rings on the open pages of Harriet’s bible. While Rose turned to look towards the ground, the Doctor watched Harriet as she started walking towards the Cove.

“Follow soon. We need to hurry,” Harriet said, saddened by the look on Rose’s face. To some it would look like nothing was wrong, but to someone who’d know her so long, Rose looked so lost.

Rose struggled for a moment as she tried to stop herself from saying how she really felt and instead joked, “Good thing there are no pets involved.”

Watching Rose closely, the Doctor could see the pain in her eyes and wasn’t sure what to do. Why did he have the urge to protect her from that?

“If I wasn’t in the middle of the Atlantic, after one of the strangest days of my life, I’d…” said the Doctor, taking a deep breath, before he realised he had no idea what he could say that would help and after another breath turned to follow Harriet.

As she watched him begin to walk away, Rose thought of what her mum had said about mistakes and regrets. She wondered which would be worse; the mistake of admitting to the Doctor that she liked him or the regret of never trying?

“Doctor, wait!” called Rose and waited for the Doctor to stopped and turn towards her.

She gathered her courage and said, “If things don’t work out with Reinette, I mean she’s perfect, obviously. But she gives you block, so maybe you’re not one of the nine thousand eight hundred. That’s not so impossible is it?”

“Cause then you could not marry her, then you could stay here. With me,” finished Rose, trying to hold onto hope.

With a soft, but sad, look on his face, the Doctor walked back to Rose and focussed on her for a moment. She had more courage than he ever would. With that thought, he leant down and placed a lingering kiss on her forehead.

Rose struggled to look him in the eye, not wanting to see pity, “I know,” she sobbed softly and managed to look him the eye as she choked out. “This is where you tell me I’m just one chapter, not a whole book.”

She took a deep breath, trying not to break down as the Doctor watched her. He was saddened that he’d brought someone as full of life as Rose to tears. But wasn’t sure what to say to her, how to offer her some comfort or reassurance.

Before he managed to come up with anything, he and Rose were drawn from the moment by the sound of people.

Photographers.

“Go,” said Rose. She might not be able to offer the Doctor anything else, she thought, but she could at least make sure the press didn’t follow him to the Cove.

When the Doctor hesitated to leave, still wishing he didn’t have to see her so sad, Rose, trying to smile for his sake, told him, “Go!”

As he turned and left, Rose let the smile fall from her face and for a moment, watched him walk away. She pulled herself together and knew she could do this.

She yelled to the group of photographers, “Guys, Reinette Poisson’s not in the castle! They’re getting married now in the haunted toilet. It’s a local tradition,” she gestured. “This way!”

___________________________________________________________

The Doctor walked into Cathedral Cove; he noticed Harriet, but he saw Reinette for the first time that day and given how worried he’d been, he hurried over to her.

No matter what else had happened during that day, he wanted to know, “Are you okay?”

“Yes,” said Reinette, before she let out a small giggle at the Doctor’s current outfit. “Are you?”

Not sure what to say about the day he’d had or the things he’d considered, the Doctor, trying to explain a few of his thoughts, said, “I don’t, really, like big cat documentaries.”

Reinette looked slightly perplexed, not understand why he’d chosen that moment to bring that up and said, “That is fine.

“If I’m going to do this, we’ll have to be quick,” said Harriet, without much enthusiasm. She did not doubt that the Doctor loved Reinette, but Harriet questioned that he was in love with her.

From his hiding place on a rock ledge of the Cove, the Master poked his head out and looked down at the Doctor and the woman he loved, while he tried to think of an appropriate way to announce himself and his feelings.

The Doctor and Reinette looked at each other for a moment and then towards Harriet.

___________________________________________________________

Leading the photographers to the public toilets, Rose had managed to get back under control. But she felt broken. She tried to tell herself that she’d only known him for a day, but part of her knew that was more than long enough to know how she felt.

Jackie watched as Rose, and her entourage, neared the toilets. Even from a distance, the defeat and resignation could be seen in her posture. When Rose looked at her and shook her head slightly, Jackie sighed; it obviously hadn’t worked out. Jackie knew her daughter, though. As much as Rose was hurting now, given a little bit of time, she would pick herself up and move forward.


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