This story will switch between Rose and Alec's points of view so some paragraphs may seem like they are repeated
Rose Tyler 'died' the day she lost her Doctor. Cut off in 'Pete's world' as it had become known to her and her mother, she never gave up hope of getting back to her world and her Doctor.
She had finally told him how she felt but it was too late – the walls were closed and no amount of her screaming at them would ever open them again. She had been over-wrought with tears, spent endless nights crying into her pillow after seeing his ghostly form through one tiny gap left in-between the universes' and being told she couldn't touch him.
She would have gladly let the two universes collide if she'd thought they could be together. She would have given anything to touch him, hold his hand, hug him the way they used to. Who's going to hold his hand now? Who's going to offer him cake and run with him? Why had she not had the courage to tell him how she felt before she was cruelly taken from him? If only she had told him, been able to kiss him right there on that beach and never let go and been able to go back with him, her life would have been so different.
She'd tried oh so many times to get back, they had come up with all kinds of inventions, even tried the original devices that Pete Tyler and his team had breached the void into her world with but nothing was working. Torchwood had been officially up and running for a few years, Rose had taken up a position as head of research so she could help develop new ways of possibly getting back to her own world which was the main reason she took it, that and she would go mad at home.
She was offered active duty as part of the team but she declined, wanting to concentrate on anything that would just get her back. She was desperate even though she knew time was different on this world and the Doctor could have regenerated but she thought she would know deep down inside despite being cut off if that had actually happened.
She kept telling herself, if only she could get back, they could pick up where they left off, with her telling him she loved him, longing to hear the words back which she was certain he was about to say when they were so cruelly parted. She wondered if he'd met anyone else, if anyone could ever replace her. She was sure that he would never just give up on her just as she had never given up on him but what if he'd had the chance of being happy? Could she have blamed him and if he had regenerated, maybe he'd forgotten her anyway thinking Rose would have moved on in her new world. He had told her he had to move on and she had been lucky he'd wanted to retain their friendship the last time and that was when Rose realised that their friendship was becoming more.
Mickey had tried to make up to her but she wasn't having any of it. How could she? Not only had the Doctor been her friend, she had found herself wanting much more and could never face Mickey again, not in that way. Would the Doctor want her back if she found a way? A thousand questions had raced through her mind.
At first, she missed the Tardis, it had become her second home or had she spent so much time in it that it had replaced her home? Her mother certainly had thought that, complaining Rose never rang her. The last time she'd been in it, she hadn't even been alone with him, her mother had been there, only briefly being left on her own when they'd arrived at Torchwood Tower. That was the last time she'd ever have an adventure with him. She had spent the best time of her life with a 900 year old alien who she'd fallen in love with and now her life was never going to be the same again. How could anything replace that?
She couldn't even think about travelling, it reminded her too much of the times they'd had. Travelling the world was not the same as travelling the stars and was a poor substitute. Her mum had got her to take a few family holidays with them, just little seaside towns, all looking the same to Rose but one had stuck in her mind, one with a quiet beach, spectacular golden cliffs and a great little place they used to go to get fish and chips, the best she had tasted apart from the first time she'd had chips with the Doctor. She couldn't quite remember the name of it but vaguely remembered it was in Dorset. She began to think about the place more and more, thinking that maybe one day she'd go back, just for some peace, the soothing colour of those golden cliffs had actually brightened the holiday as the sun shone on them. Even at night, they turned a deeper golden colour which Rose was enthralled with. She'd seen more beautiful scenery on her other travels but nothing seemed to quite compare with it. It seemed to haunt her somehow.
She had been well out of it, not taking much notice with what had been going on in the world, let alone in her own country and was completely unaware that the quiet seaside town she had thought so much about had recently been in the news. She was still having a few difficulties accepting things had run different courses to her old world, she was having to re-learn history and had to be very careful not to get the two versions mixed up in any conversations. Only a handful of people actually knew that her mum, Mickey and she were not from that world and one word out of place would take a lot of fixing from the Torchwood team trying to cover it up but she'd managed fairly well so far. Jackie on the other hand had nearly put her foot in it a few times but everyone knew what she was like and laughed it off much to everyone else's relief. Tony had no understanding about his mum and sister and they had decided to tell him when he was older so he could make up his own mind about it although she used to tell him stories.
Everyone had done their level best to cheer her up at first. She was inconsolable after her ghostly encounter on the beach in Norway, hardly sleeping in case he called out to her again and she suffered for a long time, having to seek help because her health was suffering. Her mum had instantly fallen in love with Pete and Rose was happy for her. She now had a step-dad and a little brother called Tony and she had a friend in Jake and Mickey, who had to be contented with only being her friend if that was all she wanted. Mickey never said anything to her, he knew he had lost her the moment she had met the Doctor and that was confirmed the day he regenerated but he put on a happy face now she was back after he'd decided to stay behind when they had visited after an accident crash landed them a few years before.
He'd said he was staying to look after his old gran who was still alive there but he knew that wasn't the real reason but he didn't dwell on it. He could never convince Rose to take him back but wouldn't give up hope, just as Rose never gave up trying to get back to the Doctor. Jake on the other hand had lost his Ricky but found someone else as Mickey was definitely not that much like Ricky and had made that quite clear. He had become Rose's best friend and protector because she found she could confide in him more than anyone else and mainly because there was no pressure from him.
Between the two of them they would try to keep Rose occupied when they weren't working. She had become close to Jake because she could talk to him about the Doctor and would tell him about their adventures. Jake had only met him twice but would be fascinated about the tales she would tell. He would spend time at the Tyler residence trying to help Rose but when he wasn't there she spent most of the time either with her little brother or in her room looking at the few photos on her phone that she had taken of the Doctor and herself. She was grateful her phone hadn't fallen out of her pocket when she was pulled toward the void and rescued by Pete at the very last moment. She'd transferred them to her new phone and had a copy on her computer and had the best one as her desktop wallpaper. The one she had taken of the Doctor when she thought he wasn't looking. The one where he had a great big smirk on his face.
Forever dreaming of what might have been if she'd managed to hold on or the void had closed just as she was about to be pulled through and been safely caught by the Doctor, safe in his arms where she had always wanted to be. In her dreams they carried on their adventures together and they had soon disclosed their feelings for one another, first just the casual kiss, then after he said he actually liked it, a bit more kissing then suddenly it was becoming apparent they both wanted more than that, just laying together, exploring each other and it leading to other things so both of them ended up giving in to the one thing both of them wanted more than anything and were blissfully happy together. He would take her to dreamy worlds where they would sunbathe all day, laying on the golden sands together, so wrapped up in each other, nothing to stop them. Or they were alone on a deserted island, just the two of them, skinny dipping in the sea, the Doctor would chase Rose through the clear water and she would pretend to let him catch her just as she ran off again.
He would run even faster but he'd taught her to run so well but she'd get tired of being chased and just wanted him to catch her. They would gently fall into the water as the Doctor caught her and began kissing her and gently laying her down, the water just covering them both and the would kiss and make love, never wanting to let go. He would cover her in kisses as the water lapped over them and she would run her fingers through his hair – oh that hair, how she missed his hair and his laugh and the talking at 90 miles an hour that she never understood a word of it. The things he used to say, how she got jealous when he wasn't paying her any attention though she never let on. She was always rudely awakened from those dreams with the harsh reality of her alarm clock just when it was getting to the good parts where she and her lover were being intimate.
She had to work just to keep herself occupied, to find a way back to him. She didn't really need to, she was Pete Tyler's step-daughter, heiress to a multi-million pound business and had come a long way from being a nineteen year old shop girl whose place of employment had been blown up but she never told anyone who she was, never acted like it or dressed like she had money. She'd been brought up properly where money was always tight and never wasted. Her mum on the other hand had embraced the idea after initially telling Pete she didn't care about the money but she never overdid it, never splashed out for the sake of it, only wanting things to make life easier and the things she could never afford previously because she'd had to work for it, had to just scrape by.
It had been difficult for Pete to explain his sudden status of being a step-dad and his new wife looking like his old one but a few touches here and there from Torchwood had smoothed things over and eased the transition. It had been surprising just how quickly Jackie had settled down but for Rose, life wasn't so easy, having lost more than she was letting on to anyone, never wanting to share it with anyone, not even Jake and even her mother didn't know what was going on in her mind and it dawned on Rose that it was going to take a lot more to start a new life, a new beginning.
She certainly had no knowledge about the little town she remembered so fondly being in the news recently, of all the media attention it had been receiving and of a certain team of Detectives who had been on the case and that their lives would be soon intertwined in more ways than one.
If her family and friends had told Rose she would ever find anyone to replace the Doctor, she would have shot them down in flames claiming it was ridiculous, she was holding out to find her way back or, to everyone who didn't know about him, she just laughed it off saying she was waiting for the right man to come along.
Little was she to know that a decision she was about to make would change her life back to one of being happy again, something she had thought would never happen again until she found her way back. No, she had decided to live a solitary life and it was going to take something drastic to make her change her mind. She thought she didn't deserve to be happy, that she had been robbed of the chance after being pulled apart from the man she had come to love. She knew he would never settle down so she resolved that neither would she. The conversation had already taken place with her mother before they came to this world and she vowed to herself she was going to stick to it. It was the very least she could do, to somehow honour his decision even though he would never know it unless by some miracle.
In her mind, if she did somehow get back she could truly tell him she knew how he felt being alone and that he didn't have to be, she would be content with whatever time they had together but she knew deep down what it would do to him, to watch her go again. Hadn't he suffered as much as she had done? Or even more after all his lifetimes? Would it be fair on him if she did find she could move on with her life? What if he'd already moved on with his? Was she ready to move on yet? Rose came to the conclusion that there was only going to be one way to find out, one way to know for certain and that was to take a giant leap, take the plunge and give it a try.