a/n: So this is a little one-shot that takes place after Return of the Wolf. If you haven't read that then this won't make sense so go read that first! :) I hope you enjoy. I love reviews.
She landed and took a deep breath. This was stupid. This was wrong. This was extremely dangerous. She knew about crossing timelines and fixed points and everything else in between. Despite knowing all this, she still was here. The screen flashed the at her: Earth - London, 1 January 2005.
Rose tangled her fingers in her hair and tugged slightly. The pressure helped calm her nerves but her Time senses were on high alert. She could practically feel the reapers waiting to pounce. Well, she could handle those bastards.
"I can do this. I just have to be careful," she muttered before gathering herself and stepping out into the snow.
It was during her time on the Oodsphere that she came across this particular memory. When the Doctor had first regenerated in front of her eyes, she'd had a sense of deja vu but she'd been too shocked in that moment to understand why. Now she knew the reason.
The Doctor had come to say goodbye the only way he could without endangering timelines. That memory had brought tears to her eyes. It also made her burn with the desire to give his tenth form a proper farewell.
Pulling power to her, she distorted the space around her body, making her invisible to the naked eye. She could still be heard and felt but no one would see her. She would look like a patch of blurry air. Now she could watch her past unfold.
Rose and Jackie walked down the street. Rose had her arms crossed, bracing herself against the wind and snow while Jackie kept pace with her. Of course they were arguing, Rose irritated about being stranded on New Year's Eve.
"I'm late now. I've missed it. It's midnight. Mickey's gonna be calling me everything. This is your fault," Rose said crossly.
"No, it's not. It's Jimbo. He said he was going to give us a lift, then he said his axle broke. I can't help it." defended Jackie.
"Get rid of him, Mum. He's useless."
"Listen to you, with a mechanic!" Jackie let out a slightly defeated sigh. "Be fair, though. My time of life, I'm not going to do much better."
Rose stopped as they came to the crossroad and looked at her mother with concern. She placed her hand on Jackie's shoulder, seeing the sadness fill her mother's eyes. Despite the years, Jackie never got over the loss of Pete.
"Don't be like that," she said, brushing Jackie's fly away hair from her eyes. "You never know. There could be someone out there."
Jackie looked up, seemingly imagining a man who she could truly love. "Maybe...one day." Then she shook her head and brightened. "Happy New Year."
"Happy New Year!" Rose said, pulling Jackie into a fierce hug, pouring her love for her mother into that simple act. They broke apart and Rose pointed her finger at Jackie like she was the mother and Jackie was the child. "Don't stay out all night."
"Try and stop me."
Rose went in one direction, Jackie went in the other. A grunt of pain drew her attention to a man standing in the darkness against the brick building.
"You alright, mate?" she asked in concern.
"Yeah," the Doctor replied quickly, trying to contain the agony that filled his body.
"Too much to drink?"
"Something like that."
"Maybe it's time you went home."
The Doctor nodded. "Yeah."
Rose gave him a cheery smile. "Anyway, Happy New Year."
"And you." She turned and walked away towards her flat. The Doctor called out after her. "What year is this?"
Rose spun around, laughing a little at the man's lack of knowledge on such a big holiday. "Blimey, how much have you had?"
The Doctor didn't really reply, just nodding his head slightly.
"2005, January the first," she said slowly.
"2005?" Rose nodded and crossed her arms more. The cold was getting to her. "Tell you what. I bet you're going to have a really great year."
Rose smiled again. "Yeah?"
The Doctor returned her smile. She looked thoughtfully at the ground before coming back to the moment.
"See you." Rose said before running off and disappearing inside the building.
Rose watched her past-self disappear and then turned her attention back to the Doctor. During that little exchange, she had walked closer to the Doctor, knowing that her timing was everything. The Doctor let out another cry of pain and braced himself against the wall. He had held off the regeneration for too long. Rose released her power and before the Doctor could take notice of her, she ran and pulled him into her arms, drawing out as much of the radiation her body could handle.
The Doctor staggered away when Rose released him. She let out her own grunt of pain and doubled over. The damn idiot had so much in his body that she could barely hold half of it.
"Rose?" the Doctor said in disbelief.
Rose pulled herself together and then smiled so much it hurt. This was the Doctor, her Doctor. This face was so different than the Valeyard's. The eyes. It was his eyes.
The Doctor seemed to notice that he wasn't in pain any longer. "What the-? How-? I don't- Impossible," he stammered.
"You know better than most that nothing is really impossible," she teased.
"You're not supposed to be here. You're supposed to be in Pete's world. How did you get here?"
"That's a story for another time." Rose took her time, cataloging every feature of his face, taking note of his clothing, inhaling his imagine. "You don't look so good, Doctor. You just had to go and save the day again, didn't you?"
"How do you know this? And why am I not in agony anymore?"
"It's obvious. I'm from the future and I just absorbed some of the radiation that was tearing your body apart. I must tell you, this is not a fun way to die. Glad I only had to experience it once, but this is a lovely little reminder." Rose couldn't help but laugh at the look of confusion on his face. "You'll know one day."
"I don't know what to say," he said somewhat stupidly.
"The Doctor at a loss for words? Has the world ended?" She laughed again but sobered quickly. Her timing was important. He needed to regenerate at the right moment so he could meet little Amelia at the right moment. "I've come to say goodbye."
"Are you going somewhere?"
"No, but you are. And I needed to see your face, this face, one last time."
"What are you talking about? Rose, what's going on?"
"Stop asking questions. You know I can't answer them. Besides, you're going to forget this anyway. Please, Doctor, allow the impossible to happen for a short while."
He nodded shortly, obviously itching to continue asking. "What do you need?"
Rose stepped closer to him, their bodies barely separated. She could hear his breath catch as his eyes locked on hers. He seemed to note the small differences in her appearance. Her eyes, of course, were the most telling.
"I just need one thing. Kiss me."
The Doctor hesitated but Rose didn't. She grabbed his lapels and pulled him down to her level. Her lips crashed against his and she felt him freeze. It only took a little bit of coaxing before he sank into the kiss. His arms wrapped around her body, her hands threaded through his wonderful hair. Time stopped as they allowed themselves to give in to their desires, their love.
He pulled back first, his breath coming more sharply than necessary for one with a respiratory bypass. Rose let out a soft moan of disappointment. Oh how she longed for their time to continue. She wanted to pull him into the TARDIS and explore his body, find out everything that was hidden beneath his suits and long coat. But Time would not allow that this time. The Doctor's regeneration was almost fixed in time. It needed to happen. Too much would change if she saved him as she so desired to do.
"I love you, Doctor. I always have." She wasn't expecting a response. This form, while more tactile than his former self, did not admit his true feelings to her.
"I love you too, Rose."
It came out as a whisper, almost carried away by the wind. Rose's heart stopped for a moment. She had longed to hear those words come from his mouth. This mouth. This body. And here he was, saying it to her as he had not done on the damn beach so long ago.
Tears formed in her eyes and she allowed them to fall. It didn't matter. He would not remember this for a very long time. The moment was broken when she gasped and doubled over.
"Damn, Doctor. How much radiation did you actually absorb?"
"Too much. You took in too much for the human body to last as long as you have. Tell me, are you human? Are you real or am I losing my mind as this body dies?"
"I am very much real. As to being human...well...I can't answer that because I do not know. However, my heart is very human and this heart still loves you."
"I don't want to forget this," he paused, "I don't want to die."
She heard the fear in his words. This Doctor would die and another one would take his place. She understood all too well. Rose pressed her palm against his face, rubbing his cheekbone with her thumb.
"I know. And that's okay. Maybe you have a little bit of human in you now."
"My previous self was born from battle. This self was born from love. What will my next self be born from?"
"I can't answer that. Maybe one day you can tell me what you think."
"When will I see you again?"
Rose sighed, knowing he would not like the answer. She knew parts of his future that she would not share, even though this memory would be hidden. "It will be a long time, even for a Time Lord. The battles you face will be difficult and the guilt you carry will bring forth the storm within you. But know this, you are still the Doctor and you will always be the Doctor, no matter what face you wear. I will always love you."
A presence pressed against her mind. Rose recognized it instantly.
"Our time is up," she said softly. "Be brave, my Doctor."
Before he could protest or say anything else, she pulled him into another kiss, distracting him enough that she slid into his mind and wrapped these memories in a box with a lock. The lock would only be undone by her words. As she kissed him, she returned the poison to his body. It pained her to do it but it was necessary. She could not change these events.
She wrapped her power around her once more and disappeared. The Doctor looked dazed for a moment before he felt the terrible effects of the radiation again. It was so hard not to help him to his TARDIS. She watched him stumble and fall. It would be so easy to make his pain stop. It would be so easy to end his suffering.
Sigma appeared in the street and a song echoed across Rose's mind. She was sure the Doctor heard it too. He looked up at him from the ground, all his strength seemingly lost. His breath came out in painful gasps. It took all Rose's willpower not to run to his side. She couldn't. The Doctor needed to do this part. It was so important.
Fear was evident on his face when he saw Sigma. He had been told his song was ending. Did he truly think that he would not continue after its final chord?
"We will sing to you, Doctor. The Universe will sing you to your sleep," Sigma said.
The Doctor struggled but he somehow found the strength to stand and continue to stagger towards the TARDIS. The Ood's song filled Rose's mind and she heard it's meaning. She heard the Universe sing to the Doctor. Rose let it fill her as she took in his plight. Oh, he was so brave. He would not give up. He would not give in to fear.
The Doctor seemed to use the song as his crutch. Slowly he limped past Sigma, his eyes on his destination: the TARDIS.
"This song is ending, but the story never ends," Sigma said.
He did not look at the Ood. He did not stop. Tears fell freely down Rose's cheeks. His TARDIS would not come out of this unscathed. Rose opened up to the TARDIS, reaching out to the ship that wasn't a ship. The heart of the TARDIS reached back out, embracing Rose, letting her know that she would be alright. Through her connection, she saw the Doctor lean against the doors before continuing on, pulling the levers and pressing button that would take the TARDIS into flight. Rose held the connection as the TARDIS began to orbit the Earth. She watched as he circled the console with sad eyes.
"I don't want to go."
She pulled away when he began to glow. The Universe continued to sing and Rose listened as her knees hit the snow.
A chime sounded overhead as the Doctor sat in the swing, working on a couple upgrades for his TARDIS. He'd received a message, most likely from Rose. With a smile, he pocketed his sonic screwdriver and made his way up to the console. The message on the monitor made him frown. It was just the time and space coordinates. It was obviously from Rose but she usually left something a little more. Concern washed through him. Something must have happened. Before his mind could make up complicated and terrifying situations Rose had found herself in, the Doctor launched the TARDIS into action.
The TARDIS landed and the Doctor stepped out, his feet hitting soft sand, the smell of perfumed flowers on the wind. Florana. He'd known the coordinates as soon as he saw them. Florana was a beautiful planet that he'd been to multiple times. Rose had picked the perfect time as it wasn't beach season. She was good like that.
He found her floating in the effervescent sea. She didn't look up though he knew she would have heard the TARDIS land. Even if she hadn't heard, he knew that she and his TARDIS were telepathically connected. He decided against calling out to her. Instead he shucked off his boots and socks and rolled up his trousers. The sand was soft beneath his feet and when he stepped into the water, it was warm and inviting. He didn't go in any deeper. He didn't want to get wet but he also had a feeling that Rose needed something that he couldn't give yet.
After a short while, Rose came and stood before him in a black swimsuit. It took everything in him not to let his eyes wander. None of that mattered when his eyes met hers. There was so much pain in their depths that he couldn't imagine what might have happened.
"Caden?" he asked, suddenly afraid.
"He's at school," she said simply, not taking her eyes away from his. She seemed to be searching for something but he didn't know what it could be.
Rose sighed, "I want him to get a formal education and I can't give him the education he needs. So I chose a school in the 51st century."
The Doctor waited in silence before finally becoming inpatient.
"Rose, what happened?"
"I saw you. The past you."
The Doctor's eyebrows rose. "What?"
Rose stepped closer to him and raised herself on her toes. Her lips hovered centimeters from his ear. "You were right, I had a great year," she whispered.
Memories slammed into the forefront of his mind and his final moments in his previous body unfurled before his eyes. Rose's pain was easily understandable. He sighed and pressed his forehead to hers.
All he could say was, "Why?"
"My final moments with the Valeyard were...terrible. I needed to see that face one last time but have it be a good memory. I needed to have a good memory, I needed a goodbye because I never really got to say goodbye to that you. But...it was more difficult than I thought it would be."
"That was really foolish of you, Rose Tyler."
The corner of her lips twitched. "I know. But I don't regret it."
"Why did you call me?"
She pressed her body flush against his and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Because I needed to see you alive."
Her words sent a rush of need through him. The Doctor gripped her to him and pulled her into a deep, passionate kiss. Rose's mind brushed against the Doctor's and he welcomed her in. The bond that had been formed between them was as strong as ever. She filled the missing space in his mind. The emptiness that touched him when he was alone wasn't filled in Rose's presence. He didn't want to let her go.
Rose pulled him down to the sand that was as soft as a dove's feathers. They slowly divested themselves of their clothing, exploring each other as they had once done. It seemed to be too slow for Rose, however, because soon she was on top of him. They became one being on the soft, sandy beach. Two bodies became one. Two souls joined.
The Wolf had said her goodbye to her Storm. Now it was time to move on with the new Storm in her arms.