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When the Wolf Runs

By Emmitha

Adventure / Romance


Years later, Rose wouldn't be able to remember quite how it happened, it had been so fast and the aftermath had left her so broken…the whole thing was little more than a blur.

She and John had been left on Bad Wolf Bay ten years ago, had gotten married eight years ago, had first started traveling in their young TARDIS six years ago. Their TARDIS still couldn't travel in time, but space was simple enough for her, and so Rose and John had taken off for the stars as soon as they were able. The Doctor and Rose in the TARDIS, just as it should be.

Despite the circumstances, not much had changed; they still seemed to find trouble wherever they went, and it always seemed to end with them running for their lives. They loved every minute of it…until the day they didn't run fast enough.

They'd gone to the planet of Lorcona 7, a planet John said was known for its peaceful inhabitants and beautiful forest. He had forgotten that that peace hadn't started until the year 2047, and previous to that year the planet had been engulfed in an all-consuming war.

They had landed in a small clearing in the forest, as beautiful as John had said it was, and had immediately gone exploring. Rose and John laughed and talked and pointed out the beautiful flora as they went, heading towards a small settlement where John said there should be a festival in honor of the planet's lunar goddess.

They started to hear the sounds of guns when they were still about a half a mile from the settlement. But they didn't go back to the TARDIS, no. They were still the Doctor and Rose, no matter what had changed. They grinned, and Rose had made a joke about how they couldn't even go to a pacifist planet without finding trouble, and then they were running towards the commotion, excited for the new adventure.

This is when Rose's memory starts to get fuzzy. They'd come out of the trees, trying to keep out of sight while they watched the battle. Their humor had soon disappeared as they realized just what they were watching, and John had muttered something about a war. They watched in horror from behind what looked like a crashed hovercraft, and had been so preoccupied by the scene before them, that they hadn't noticed another platoon of soldiers come out behind them until it was too late.

Rose and John obviously weren't the enemy; the inhabitants of Lorcona 7 had skin that resembled a snake's, with a thin ridge protruding where their eyebrows would be if they were human. Since John and Rose looked nothing like this, the Lorconians ignored John and Rose, more focused on killing each other. But Rose and John were still stuck in the middle of a battle, and bullets were flying over their heads and into the sand at their feat. John had started to try and pull Rose, who had frozen, into the hovercraft they were hiding behind when the first bullet caught him in the shoulder. The force had caused him to jerk to the side, which was when the second bullet had ripped through his sternum.

Rose had finally been ripped from her shock when John had collapsed with a cry of pain behind her. The next few minutes were full of blood and tears and screaming. The battle raged around the two for hours, and when it finally stopped, the survivors had found a young human woman clutching the body of a human male, staring at it blankly.

Despite the war they were engaged in, the Lorconians were still a kind people, and so they tried to bring the human woman back to their village. But she had screamed and lashed out every time they tried to pull her away from the body she was so desperately clutching, that they finally had to knock her out and carry her back. They brought the body as well, since it was so important to her.

When she had woken up, she immediately started screaming and crying again, and so they brought her to the body of the man. She clutched at his hand, begging him to wake up, crying and making promises all the while. This went on for several days, and the woman refused food and sleep during this time. Finally, the Lorconians managed to convince her that they had to bury the body, as it was decomposing. She didn't respond, but didn't try to fight them when they took the body, either.

The woman did not speak for ten years after that, but didn't leave the Lorconians, either. They built her a hut of her own, and brought her food. She hadn't told them her name, and refused to speak or communicate in any way, so they simply referred to her as the Widow, assuming the dead man had been her husband.

This went on for ten years until one day, the Widow was just gone. Her hut still had all the possessions the Lorconians had given her over the years—clothes, pictures, dishes—but the Widow was gone, and after a few days and several search parties, they decided she had trul left them.

Rose, meanwhile, had returned to her TARDIS, and sent it into the void. The TARDIS had reached full maturity over the past ten years, and was frantic with worry over Rose. Because of the connection Rose and John both had had with the machine, the TARDIS was aware that John had died, and pushed as much comfort as she could into the mind of her Wolf, and tried not to communicate the feelings of anger and abandonment she had after being left alone for ten years, forced to deal with her own sense of loss over the death of the man she had known her whole life.

But if Rose had been unresponsive to the Lorconians, she was only marginally better with the TARDIS. She communicated through thoughts to the machine, but mostly just lay curled up in the bed she had shared with John.

It was a month before the TARDIS had decided that enough was enough, and forcefully ejected Rose from the bedroom and into the control room. It was enough to finally illicit a response from Rose, though perhaps not the one the TARDIS had been going for. Rose began to curse and scream, kicking at the coral structures of the room (for this TARDIS had chosen a desktop to match the one from Rose and John's memories). But even if this wasn't the reaction the TARDIS was going for, she responded with many of the same emotions, pushing feelings of hurt and anger into Rose's mind, and shaking the room violently. The two went at it for hours, one yelling the other seething in a rage she was unable to vocalize.

Finally, when the two were spent, they both quieted down, Rose collapsing into the jump seat. "I just don't know what to do any more, Old Girl…" she whispered, her throat raw from all the screaming.

The TARDIS had hummed in a way that was both sad and soothing, and kept up the gentle hum as Rose fell asleep.

Now it was two hundred years later, and Rose still wasn't quite dealing with everything in a way that would be considered healthy. She had realized that she'd become just as immortal as Jack when she tried to kill herself shortly after John's burial, and woken up with a gasp only a few minutes later. The best guess she could come up with was that her time as Bad Wolf had had more effect on her than they'd originally thought. The knowledge that she couldn't die hadn't stopped her from trying to kill herself, but she eventually gave up since each failed attempt only served to further depress her.

She'd spent a decade or so just floating in the vortex in the TARDIS, reading every book in the library and teaching herself how to fight. She'd gotten it into her head that if she had known how to fight, then John would still be alive. The TARDIS tried to reason with her, of course, but Rose would have none of it.

She'd also stopped calling herself Rose, and had asked the TARDIS to, as well. Since there was no one else around, she hadn't bothered to assign herself a name, and the TARDIS just referred to her as "My Wolf."

After a few years, though, Rose started traveling again, saving planets, and getting into trouble. If she had learned anything from the Doctor and John, it was when you can't bear to look back, run. She managed to work enough in the shadows that it was a few years before anyone actually managed to ask her name. Rose had paused, considering. "I don't know. Haven't been called anything in a long time. The last time anyone called me anything, they called me the Widow, so I guess that works," she had said. And she had used that name for a few years, but then it became too much of a reminder of what she had lost. So the next time someone asked, she responded "The Warden . Call me the Warden." She had picked the name because she had become something of a police force throughout the universe, restoring balance to planets consumed by chaos and stopping evil villains from their nefarious schemes.

She practically never stopped; once she finished rescuing one planet, it was off to another to end a war; then to another galaxy to overthrow a dictator; and on and on and on. She only stopped when she was so tired that she barely made it through the door of the TARDIS before she collapsed on the floor, sound asleep. Sometimes, though, the TARDIS would lock the doors for a few days and refuse to let her Wolf leave. During that time, the Warden would usually read or re-read some of the books in the library, or worked more on her weapons training. If there was one thing about her that was different from both John and the Doctor, it was that she had no aversion to weapons. She rarely killed, unable to get rid of that one moral, but it was not unheard of for her to take a life, if she was in a desperate enough situation.

The Warden was a completely different person from the girl who had first stepped into the blue box; she was a fighter, a force to be reckoned with. Just the mention of her name could scare Silurians and even give Daleks pause. She was afraid of nothing; what had she to fear? Even if she died, she just came right back. She was not human; and she had abandoned what was left of her humanity long ago, finding it too painful.

The TARDIS was worried, but nothing she did could bring her Wolf back to what she once was, and the TARDIS feared her Wolf was gone forever.

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