Rose Tyler sat alone at a table drinking her fifth glass of champagne of the night. All around her, her colleagues at Torchwood were dancing at their rooftop New Year's party. Pale blue lights illuminated the rooftop to give it a wintery feel. Rose was dressed to the nines in a black bondage dress and heels and her hair and makeup was wonderfully done, but inside she felt no better than she did six months ago, when he came into the picture.

He being the Doctor, or rather, the half-human, half-Time Lord copy of the Doctor that the real Doctor had left behind in their parallel world. Since then, the copy had taken on the name John Smith, as his original self had done when trying to integrate into human society, started a job at Torchwood, moved up in the ranks relatively quickly, and was well-respected by his colleagues. But despite everything that he had achieved in such a short period of time, the one thing he had not done was win Rose's heart. To her, he was someone who looked, spoke, and acted like the Doctor, the man she truly loved, but he still wasn't.

Rose still lived with her parents and her baby brother Tony, but John lived in the guesthouse in Mickey's old bedroom. Every day they would talk, but Rose made sure to keep it quick and brief before she gave him the wrong idea-again. Why did she kiss him that day on Bad Wolf Bay? She had just given the Doctor the okay to leave her there again. She made him think she didn't love him anymore, when he was the man she loved more than anything in the world. He didn't even say goodbye to her. She should have just kissed her Doctor, the real Doctor, instead, even if he had never said what John did. But she was so weak, so desperate to hear the Doctor complete that sentence, so ready to kiss him upon hearing those words, that she took it out on the first person who could say those three little words to her.

And yet, on this New Year's Eve, Rose was having a strange sense of déjà vu, and it wasn't from all the champagne she'd been drinking. Although she had seen several New Year's Eves come and go very ceremoniously, she kept feeling that there was something very special about this day. But what was it?

Her train of thought was broken by the very man she detested coming up to her chair. Rose groaned and rolled her eyes. He was laughing at something his co-workers had just said. "Rose, Dr. Jackson was just telling us how his new baby spit up all over his new suit and he had to change right before this party." Rose said nothing and sipped more of her champagne. John continued, trying to brighten the mood. "Did you know that Dr. Merribot is thinking about retiring? He wants to spend more time with his family."

"No, I did not know that," Rose grumpily said, not looking at John.

John sighed. "Look, Rose. It's been six months. I've tried to be patient with you. I've given you space. I know it's a strange situation and I understand why you don't see me as the Doctor, the man you fell in love with. But I can assure you, Rose, that I am essentially the same man, except with only one heart and a strange Liverpool dialect. Anyways, my point is that I do love you and I do want you to be happy and I would do anything to make you happy. I want you to know that. I miss seeing that smile that the both of us fell in love with."

"Could you get the real Doctor back? Can you give us a chance to talk things over and really say goodbye? That would make me happy," Rose snorted. "Do you really even love me or are you just saying that because you think that's what the Doctor wants?" she added.

John sighed and shook his head. "Rose, you know just as well as I do that I can't do that. I love you for all the same reasons that the original Doctor did-because of your kindness, compassion, bravery, and your enormous heart that you have for the whole world. But he knew that all of your talents would be better spent here in this universe with your family. I'd like to see that heart again, too," he said before he got up and left.

Rose groaned in frustration and put her head in her hands. She ran her fingers through her hair. Why couldn't she bring herself to like this guy? He was smart, kind, brave, funny, caring-everything that she loved about the Doctor. But he still wasn't her Doctor. He would never be her Doctor. And she would never get over her love for the Doctor. She would always hold a spot in her heart for him. She was slowly accepting the fact that she would die an old, bitter, lonely woman.

Just then, Rose's assistant, Mary, walked up to Rose's chair. Rose groaned. "I don't want to hear it, Mary."

"Rose, I've known you for a couple of years now, and I have never, not once seen you truly happy. You were so depressed over losing the Doctor when you first started working for Torchwood. And now he's here, albeit in a different form, but the point is that he's here and he truly loves you. Through John, I see why you fell in love with the original Doctor. You'd be a fool not to love him back. Otherwise, you're going to be sad and alone for the rest of your life," Mary explained.

"You think I don't think that, Mary?" Rose asked. "Everyone keeps telling me how to feel and how to act, but I just can't live a lie for the rest of my life to make everybody happy. God, I'm so confused and so hurt and no one seems to understand it," she despaired, resting her head on top of her arms, which were folded on top of the table.

"Look, Rose. Do what you want-be with him, don't be with him, whatever, but just for tonight at least try to enjoy the party. We're counting down to the New Year. You can leave everything behind and start anew. That's what New Year is for. Look, the party is popping, you look fantastic, and everyone around you is dancing and having a good time," Mary comforted.

Rose smiled through her drunken state. "You're right, Mary. You're absolutely right," she mumbled before gulping down the last of her champagne. She got up and stumbled before placing her hands on the table to catch herself. Rose laughed at her own drunken clumsiness.

"Blimey, Rose, how many have you had?" Mary asked.

Rose shook her head. As drunk as she was, there was something about Mary's question that seemed very familiar. "What did you just say?" Rose asked.

"I said, 'Blimey, Rose, how many have you had?'" Mary repeated.

"Um, I dunno. Five, I think? Yeah, that sounds 'bout right," Rose slurred.

"Hey, they're about to do the countdown pretty quick. Let's go," Mary suggested.

"Why don't you go on ahead? I still need to sit for a while," Rose said.

"Okay, if that's what you want. See you in a bit," Mary said as she left to join the rest of the party. Rose sat down at the table again and began to think. Mary's question, as simple as it was, was giving her a sense of strange déjà vu. She could remember a New Year's Day a few years ago when she asked a random drunken man that very same question. It was the New Year's Day of 2005 to be precise. She remembered it because it was the last New Year's Day before her life completely changed forever.

Flashback

It was just past midnight on New Year's Day. January 1, 2005 to be precise. She and her mother were being forced to walk home to their flat in the Powell Estate in the snow. They were supposed to get a ride home from a New Year's party from Jackie's boyfriend, Jim, but when he failed to show up, they had no other choice but to walk home.

"I'm late now. I've missed it. It's midnight. Mickey's going to be calling me everything. This is your fault," Rose blamed her mother for their unfortunate situation. They had missed watching the ball dropping on the telly with Mickey and some other friends of theirs at the Powell Estate.

"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," Jackie retorted.

"Get rid of him, Mum. He's useless." Rose was tired of seeing so many men use her mother and leave her high and dry.

"Listen to you, with a mechanic. Be fair, though. My time of life, I'm not going to do much better," Jackie said sadly.

They stopped in the snow. Rose placed her hand on Jackie's shoulder. "Don't be like that. You never know. There could be someone out there," Rose comforted her mother, stroking a bit of her mother's hair. Rose couldn't help it, she was a romantic at heart. As poor luck as Jackie had had in the dating field since Rose's father, Pete, had been hit by a car and killed when Rose was a baby, Rose had to believe that out there, somewhere, there would be a man who would treat Jackie with all the love and respect that she deserved. That guy could be the love of Jackie's life. As happy as Rose was with Mickey, she wondered if he was that guy for her, or if there was someone better, someone who could enthrall her and sweep her off her feet.

"Maybe one day," Jackie agreed with her daughter. Deep down, she knew the men she dated were no good for her and that Rose was right. She only hoped she hadn't thrown that opportunity away with Pete. She wondered if Mickey could be "the one" for her daughter as well. "Happy New Year!" Jackie cheered.

"Happy New Year!" Rose cheered as well as she and her mother laughed and hugged. "Don't stay out all night," Rose warned.

"Try and stop me," Jackie said sarcastically as they broke apart and went in opposite directions. Jackie headed to the stairwell inside the Powell Estate. Rose headed towards the alley when she heard someone groan in pain. She turned around to see a man, hidden in the shadows of an alley, leaning against the wall and crouching over in pain. She couldn't see too much, but she could tell that he had fair skin, brown hair that seemed to stick up in ever direction possible, and that he was wearing a long, brown suit, a tie, a white business shirt, and trainers. "You all right, mate?" she asked the strange man, hoping that she could help him in any way if she could, because that was the kind of person Rose was.

"Yeah," the man answered.

"Too much to drink?" Rose asked.

"Something like that," the man answered.

"Maybe it's time you went home," Rose advised.

"Yeah," the man agreed. Little did she know that he was from another planet that had been destroyed in war and lived in a blue police box that was larger on the inside than it appeared on the outside. Little did she know that that box was some distance behind her and that it was used for travel in all dimensions of time and space.

"Anyway, Happy New Year!" Rose smiled and greeted the strange, apparently drunk man.

"And you," the man replied. Rose started to turn away when the man asked, "What year is this?"

"Blimey, how much have you had?" Rose asked, laughing. He had to have had a whole lot to drink if he didn't know what day it was, let alone a universal holiday that people all around the world were celebrating.

The man uttered a faint "well" and slightly nodded his head.

"2005, January the first," Rose answered the man.

"2005," the man stated. Rose nodded. "Tell you what. I bet you're going to have a really great year," he confidently told her.

"Yeah?" Rose asked. That was very sweet of the man. She blinked, smiled, blushed, and turned to the side. Although she couldn't explain it, she had a strong feeling he was right and that they might see each other again later on. The man smiled at her in return. She faced him again and said, "See you" before running up the stairwell inside the Powell Estate to join her mother. The man smiled with love and pride as her watched her, knowing that as much as it would hurt him, she would be all right.

End Flashback

Why was Rose thinking so much about that particular New Year's Eve? That had been three years ago. Still, that man was right. 2005 turned out to be a really great year for Rose, as that was the year she first met and started traveling with the Doctor. It's almost like he knew that she would meet the Doctor that year. The more and more she thought about that man, the more and more she thought he looked like her Doctor. They had similar hairstyles, similar clothing, and sounded the same. All of these thought kept swirling in her head until it all finally hit her like a ton of bricks. Rose gasped, slammed her hands on the table and briskly stood up.

That man was the Doctor, the Doctor she had not yet met, traveling back in time to see her again. She remembered how in pain he seemed, which at the time, she attributed to intoxication. She remembered how the Doctor doubled over in pain right before he regenerated in front of her eyes. Could he have been about to regenerate again as well? Rose remembered how hard it was for her to adjust to the Doctor's regeneration before. How would she have adjusted witnessing him go through that again? It all finally clicked in Rose's head. As much as it hurt her to think about it, the Doctor was dying. He was about to regenerate again and he traveled back along Rose's timeline just to see her one last time at a time before she even knew him. He came to say goodbye to her after all.

Suddenly, the music stopped playing. Everybody turned their attention to the DJ, wondering why the music had quit playing all of a sudden. "All right, people," he shouted. "It's almost time! We are just one minute away from the New Year! Join us as we begin our countdown!" A large clock appeared on the screen behind the DJ. Large red numbers began the countdown to the New Year. Less than one minute before the New Year began. Fifty-nine, fifty-eight, fifty-seven.

Rose looked around, but she could not find John. She pushed her way around people, stood on her toes, and peeped over her co-workers' shoulders. "John? John? John, I need to talk to you," she called out. She found Mary drinking some punch. She roughly tapped her on the shoulder. "Mary! Mary, have you seen John? I need to talk to him."

Mary, surprised by Rose, quickly gulped down her punch and answered, "No, no, I haven't seen him. Why? What's wrong? Are you okay?"

"I'm fine. I just really need to talk to him." Rose left and continued to look for John.

"All right people, we are almost ten seconds away from the New Year," the DJ called out. "Gather 'round and let's count down from ten."

"Ten! Nine! Eight! Seven!"

Rose finally saw him leaning against the wall, looking down at his feet. "John!" she cried out. He raised his head and looked at her. Rose briskly made her way over to him as the countdown continued.

"Six! Five! Four! Three! Two!"

"Rose, are you all right?" John asked. He was immediately answered by Rose grabbing him by the lapels and bringing his mouth down to crash into hers.

"One!"

Fireworks erupted and lit up the London sky. Torchwood colleagues embraced, whistled, and cheered.

Rose laced her arms around John's shoulders as he moved his hands from in the air by his side to on her back. Although he was rather taken aback by Rose's actions, he enjoyed them and he reciprocated her kiss. Their kiss turned from sudden and heated to gentle and prolonged.

Finally, Rose pulled apart and gasped for air. John raised his eyebrows in confusion, Rose sighed and smiled in elation and bliss. "Rose, what was that for? Not that I didn't enjoy it because I did, but-"

"It was you! It was you all along. You came back! You did say goodbye to me after all!" Rose excitedly rambled.

"What? What do you mean it was me all along? Rose, I don't know what you're talking about."

"New Year's Day, 2005. My mum and I were walking home in the snow. I saw some man limping in an alley outside the Powell Estate. He said I was going to have a really great year and I did. That was the year I met you. I thought he was just some drunk, but he was you!" Rose proclaimed.

"Me?" John asked, still confused.

"Or rather, the Doctor. He was in pain. He was holding his stomach. I think he was dying. He was about to regenerate again," Rose explained, her tone turning serious. Saying it all out loud seemed to make it hurt more for Rose. She looked down, saddened by the thought of her Doctor dying and changing into a completely new person. John placed his hand on her cheek and turned her face towards him.

"I know it's sad, but whatever happens, he'll be all right. He'll find his way in that other universe. And he won't do it alone. He can never be on his own for very long. But don't worry. He'll never forget about you. He'll always love you, as will I. You hold a very large portion in those two hearts of his, and thus, an extremely large portion of my single heart," John comforted Rose. She smiled at him and pulled him in for another quick kiss.

"I'm sorry I've been such a prick to you ever since you got here. I don't know if it's the holiday or the champagne or what, but tonight is the first time I realized that you're here and he's not."

"You are forgiven. Absolutely, one hundred percent forgiven, Rose Tyler."

"I don't know what's going to happen next. I don't know where this will go. But I do know I want to try this with you," Rose said. "I love you, John. I think I've loved you all this time and I can't believe it took me this long to realize it."

John smiled. "I've been waiting so long to hear you say that." Rose placed her hands on his shoulders and the two leaned in for another kiss.

"You don't have to sleep in the guest house anymore, if you don't want," Rose said suggestively, shrugging her shoulders, gyrating her hips towards John, narrowing her eyes, and puckering her lips.

John laughed. "Okay, I think you've had enough champagne for tonight. Thanks for the offer, but I think I'll wait for a time when we're both of clear and sound mind."

Rose nodded. "Okay," she giggled. They turned around to watch the party behind them.

"For tonight, at least, can I have this dance?" John asked, extending his hand.

"Of course you may," Rose answered, taking his hand. John led her to the dance floor as colleagues backed away to make room for the new couple.

"About time, don't you think?" Mary asked a few colleagues. They all nodded in agreement and said, "Yeah."

John suddenly stopped. "Wait right here, Rose. I have a special request for the DJ." Rose nodded. She saw John approach the DJ and whisper something in his ear. The DJ nodded. John left and headed toward Rose.

"So what song did you request?" Rose asked.

John smirked and answered, "Something special, something that spoke to me once at a party a long time ago."

Soon, the DJ shouted, "All right now people, grab a partner and start swinging to this special beat. This song was requested by John for Rose." The audience emitted a collective "Awww." Then, the sound of old jazzy trumpets filled the air. John took Rose's hand and they started dancing. He mouthed the words to her as they swayed and twirled into the night.

Well, I've roamed about this Earth
With just a suitcase in my hand,
And I've met some bog-eyed Joe's,
I've met the blessed, I've met the damned.
But of all the strange, strange creatures
In the air, at sea, on land,
Oh, my girl, my girl, my precious girl,
I love you, you understand.

So, reel me in, my precious girl,
Come on, take me home.
'Cause my body's tired of travelling
And my heart don't wish to roam. No, no.

I have wandered, I have rambled
I have crossed this crowded sphere,
And I've seen a mass of problems
That I long to disappear.
Now, all I have's this anguished heart,
For you have vanished too.
Oh, my girl, my girl, my precious girl,
Just what is this man to do?

So, reel me in, my precious girl,
Come on, take me home.
'Cause my body's tired of travelling
And my heart don't wish to roam.

Yeah, reel me in, my precious girl,
Come on, take me home.
'Cause my body's tired of travelling
And my heart don't wish to roam. No, no.

Well, you took me in, you stole my heart,
I cannot roam no more.
Because love, it stays within you,
It does not wash up on a shore.
But a fighting man forgets each cut
Each knock, each bruise, each fall,
But a fighting man cannot forget
Why his love don't roam no more.

Oh, reel me in, my precious girl,
Come on, take me home.
'Cause my body's tired of travelling
And my heart don't wish to roam.

Yeah, reel me in, my precious girl,
Come on, take me home.
'Cause my body's tired of travelling
And my heart don't wish to roam.

Yeah, walk with me, my love, my love,
Walk tall, walk proud, walk far,
For you know my love, you are, you are,
You are my shining star.

Walk with me, oh my love,
Walk tall, walk proud, walk far.
For you know my love, you are, you are,
You are my shining star, you are, you are.
Yeah!

Reel me in, my precious girl,
Come on, take me home.
My body's tired of travelling
And my heart don't wish to roam.

By the end of the song, John's hands were on Rose's waist and hers were on his shoulders. As they song was fading, the couple was still slowly swaying to the beat. They smiled at each other and leaned in for a long, passionate kiss complete with fireworks lighting up the dark London sky.