“‘Lo there, mister!” Rose smiled brightly at the man, glad to have found someone that looked friendly. She’d been coming up dry the last few times she’d asked, so she was hoping he’d pull through for her. “Hope I’m not botherin’ ya! I was just wonderin’ if you could do me a favour.”
“Would ya mind tellin’ me where I am?”
It was absolutely stupid, that’s what it was.
It wasn’t even anything they’d done, this time, at least not to her knowledge. They’d arrived in Asgard inconspicuously enough — she’d even gotten dressed all nice and proper for the occasion, so that she wouldn’t stand out with her odd clothes — and then they’d almost immediately been arrested, or something like it. Worse, she and the Doctor had been separated.
Now, the Doctor was off being interrogated somewhere, and Rose was stuck in a jail cell. Alone. Alone and pacing and wishing she knew what to do. At the very least she wasn’t unarmed; the Doctor had managed to surreptitiously pass her the sonic before he’d been taken away, but she didn’t know what on earth she could do with it. It was bloody frustrating.
"You’ve got the wrong bloke, he didn’t do anythin’!” she told a soldier as he walked past her cell, but he paid her no mind. Nobody did. She was alone.
"Tell me — d’you reckon this dress’d look good on me?"
Rose whirled around and asked the question to the man behind her in the shop, who was presumably on his way over to the men’s section. The blonde needed someone’s opinion, though, and the shop girl was busy with someone else. “Tryin’ to impress a friend of mine.”
It was strange, but there was something…oddly familiar about this town. Like she’d visited it before, somehow. Rose wandered around with a growing sense of déjà vu, but her questions about it remained unanswered until she caught sight of a familiar woman, and her heart felt like it had stopped.
‘Lo there, mate! I was just, er, wonderin’ - I mean, this is goin’ to sound like a really mad question, but don’t laugh at me, right - I was wonderin’ what year it was?”
“I’ve not been drinkin’, before you ask, I’m just — er, I s’pose I’m just a little out of it.” Rose grinned sheepishly before falling silent and letting the woman answer.
"What was that?”
"I’ve got the present for Mum!" she called as she swung the door to the TARDIS open proudly and marched inside, holding it up. "It’s a necklace, I reckon she’ll —"
The words died in her mouth as she finally took a look at where she was and realized that, despite the outside and its size on the inside, this could not be the TARDIS and that was definitely not the Doctor. “…where am I?!”
"About time you turned up! Felt like I was at Mum’s forever, you know how she goes —"
She cut herself off abruptly as she actually took in where she was, the smile fading off her face. “…you’re not the Doctor,” she said cautiously, already adopting her defensive mode. It had looked like the TARDIS on the outside, and it was bigger on the inside, but it just looked so different… “Who’re you?”
It was hell, trying to find her way back to the TARDIS when she’d forgotten where they’d left it, because the perception filter made it so that she couldn’t always see the TARDIS in its own right sometimes. It was almost easier to just —
"Have you seen him? Really great hair that comes up in a sort of poof an’ he’s wearin’ pinstripes with trainers? Calls himself the Doctor?”
It wasn’t often that Rose managed to find the TARDIS on her own in such record time, so she allowed herself a triumphant whoop in victory as she ran towards it. Fumbling with the key around her neck, she finally managed to get it out and into the lock, upon which she opened the door with a happy “I’m back!” before she caught a glimpse of what was inside.
A young woman, leaning on a railing in a totally unfamiliar room, met her eyes.
Rose no longer knew what to say.