A/N: This will probably be pretty short, four chapters or so, but the plot bunny would not let go of my leg! Anyway, it's just my interpretation of what could happen after "Parting of the Ways." Rated R for (probable) naughtiness before it's over.

Disclaimer: It's all the BBC. Please, o please, let us Doctor Who loving fans write fanfics in peace, because we don't do it for money.

Chapter One: Breaking the Ice

Cold. She was so cold there was no way she could ever—EVER—be warm again.

"Rose?" His voice was soft, pleading… this strange, alien voice…

She hugged herself and huddled further into the corner.

"Rose… please get up." Closer now. If she opened her eyes she'd probably see him standing right in front of her…

"This isn't like you, you know. Where's my best girl, my brave little ape, eh?"

Now she did open her eyes and look at him, and he stepped back from the fury in her dark gaze.

"Your best girl? Your little ape?" she asked shrilly. "Who the hell do you think you are, saying things like that to me!"

His gaze was somber. "I'm the Doctor, Rose. It's still me."

"Can't be," she said, voice cracking. "He was—he had—you're—"

"It's ME," he insisted, crouching down beside her, being careful to keep some distance between them. "You know it's me. Who else could it be?"

"You changed…" she struggled to find the words to express her shock, sorrow, and outrage, but in the end she could only stare at him and wipe tears off her cheeks.

He sighed. "Didn't have much chance to warn you, I know. I never do have time to warn anybody proper… but it's not something I wanted to tell you on day one, now was it?"

"Could have," she retorted, sniffling, her usual confidence and determination peeking through.

"Oh, how's that, then? 'By the way, Rose, if I die, I won't really die, I'll regenerate and look and act different?' What a way to start your day, don't you think?"

She glared at him again. "You sound Scottish now," she said, making it seem like an accusation.

"What have you got against Scotland?" he demanded.

"Nothing! But that's my point! You say it's you, but it's not really you." She turned away from him and sighed. "I don't even know if you know me anymore."

He scooted closer to her and gently touched her shoulder. "I remember everything, Rose."

She started, eyes wide and a blush forming on her cheeks, understanding his meaning all too well. "And now you're gonna tell me that's gone, aren't you?" she asked dully. "Whatever you felt for me, it died when you died…"

"Is that what you want me to say?" he asked, dropping his hand and studying her with sadness in his eyes.

"I want you to tell me the truth!" she said angrily. "You DIED—I watched you die—and now you're back from the dead like, like some kind of magic happened, and you're you but you're not and I'm sorry that I'm not dealing with it to suit you!"

"Rose—"

"I loved you, dammit!" she cried. "Don't you have any idea what that means?"

He blinked. "Loved?" he asked softly. "As in, now you don't?"

"Would you give me a break?" she retorted. "How am I supposed to answer that?"

"How about honestly?" he said with a half-smile.

"This is completely mad," she muttered.

"I agree," he told her. When she stared at him he added: "sitting here on the floor having this conversation is stupid. Can we please go in the library and have a sit down?"

When she hesitated, he added: "Rose… whatever else you think—or feel—right now, I know you know you can trust me. I've never hurt you before, and I never will. Doctor's honor."

She managed a laugh. "I guess... we do need to talk about things," she admitted.

"Good." He rose and offered her his hand. After a few seconds hesitation she took it, noting with some absurd sense of relief that it felt like his skin had always felt, cool and smooth.

"Right," he said, smiling again. "Let's go."