On the northernmost continent of Omwiggom Prime, in the middle of a frozen and desolate landscape, the Doctor knelt with Rose on the ice. Dozens of fish, bright as living rainbows, swam just beneath the frozen surface of the water. Pulsing with light and color, they twisted and swirled in an elaborate dance, moving with the grace of eels.
“These are floe-fish, Rose. They live their lives in pairs. Mate for life. You can tell which ones are bonded by the pattern of colors they emit — synchronous refraction of bio-luminescent light, specially adapted to this water’s high salinity and cold temperatures. Each member of the pair is always within the same spectrophotometric increment as the other. Each bonded floe-fish shifts to the exact same color as its mate, at the exact same instant, even if they’re half a planet away from each other. Remarkable creatures!”
Utterly entranced, Rose watched the floe-fish, and the Doctor watched Rose. One of the three suns of Omwiggom Prime set before he could tear her away from the radiant, dancing fish and lure her back inside the TARDIS. They spent the night bundled in blankets on the couch beside the fireplace, the Doctor fretting over Rose’s nonexistent frostbite and coming up with ever-more inventive ways to warm her up.
Three weeks later, in Pete’s universe, Jackie dragged Rose out of bed and to a department store. Both women had been stranded with only the clothes on their backs, and although Jackie had already burned several holes in Pete’s credit cards building up her new wardrobe, Rose hadn’t bothered to get out of the mansion. Not once.
Jackie’s one-sided conversation didn’t stop as she pawed through the racks. “You know, Pete’s offered you a place at Torchwood. He says they could use someone with your experience. I think it’d be good for you, getting out more often. Well — at all. You haven’t gotten off the couch in weeks, and it’s not good for the size of your bum.” Jackie held up a blindingly pink top, made even more garish by the store’s fluorescent lights. ”What do you think of this one? It’ll look nice with your skin, sweetie.” Rose turned away without comment, listlessly shifting a few hangers on the rack in front of her.
She spotted the blue leather jacket crammed a the back of the row, half-falling off its hanger, sleeve dragging the ground. It wasn’t just any blue, either, but a particular shade. A bit brighter than the exterior shell of the TARDIS, but very unlike the vivid colors Rose had always worn. Something about this particular shade tugged at her.It resonated.
Holding this blue jacket, Rose had a sudden memory of floe-fish and spectrophotometric increments and life-mates whose colors shifted at the same time, even when separated by half a planet. And none of these thoughts made any sense at all, really, because Rose’s new-new Doctor always wore brown.
It didn’t matter.
“I’ll take this one, mum,” she said, shedding her fuzzy aqua hoodie and pulling on the not-quite TARDIS blue leather. “This one’s exactly right.”