Set after POTW – I don't own anything – but I only wish the series had gone on forever.

Together in Eternity

Rose woke up, staring at her surroundings through bleary eyes. Where was she? Then she recognised the tall figure at the control-panel. The Doctor. Then her memories returned in a flood of sounds and images. And feelings. Once again she was feeling his lips pressed to hers when he had reversed the flow of the TARDIS. She remembered the tenderness of that kiss, the warmth of his soft lips against her mouth, the way his arms wrapped around her, pulling her closer. Then… had she fainted? She wasn't sure, she remembered him lowering her to the ground… and then she had woken up here in the TARDIS.

"So then, uh what 'appened?"

His head swivelled in her direction and his face immediately lit up with a huge grin. "You got a bit too inquisitive and decided to take onboard a bit of the TARDIS' life force. Then you destroyed the Daleks, rescued me and fainted. Quite a tough day really."

Looking puzzled, she spoke quietly "But I remember something else. You, uh… saved me too. You…"

But she stopped. Had she imagined the kiss? She didn't want to make a fool of herself – maybe it had really been a dream; wishful thinking.

He looked away from her, wondering how much she remembered. Did she recall her rescue? Did she remember the kiss? The way he had taken advantage of such a vulnerable young companion? He couldn't stand the shame – best not to mention it in case she just packed up and left, not being able to stand living with such a perverted, old alien. Mentally he shook himself and once again became immersed in his work at the control station.

Wondering what she had said wrong, Rose got unsteadily to her feet and slowly, painfully, made her way over to him. Plucking up the courage, she placed her small hand on his and gave it a gentle squeeze.

Once again he looked up, startled at the warmth of her hand. He looked into her eyes and saw the confusion and pain. So she did remember, he thought, she was going to try and let him down gently. She's going to tell me she's leaving. These grim thoughts raced through his mind and an overpowering sadness built up inside him. It was like nothing he had ever known. The strength of his emotions frightened him, she was still here, and yet he could already feel the immense weight of loss shrouding his hearts.

Preparing to turn away so she wouldn't see his pain, he glanced down at their hands and jumped. A small spark of electricity seemed to jump from his skin, and he felt a searing pain in his stomach. Rose gasped. She had obviously seen it too, although she had no idea what it portended. It meant that he was on the verge of regeneration. The Doctor that she knew would cease to exist in – he quickly calculated – about T minus ten minutes.

"Doctor! What's 'appening?" She could immediately tell that something was wrong.

Struggling with the pain in his gut, he replied in strained tones, "Rose. I have to tell you… something very…agh… important. I'm going to… change. I have to… regenerate… I won't be the…. Doctor you know… it had to happen sometime…. but I never imagined… it would be this soon. I have to… warn you… and say… farewell." His breathing was by now ragged with the sting of his internal organs, preparing to morph.

"NO! Doctor, you can't do that. There 'as to be something I can do. Please…" There were bitter tears of anger and fear in her eyes, and as she spoke her voice wobbled.

"Rose… please… listen. I can't change… what's happening… but the least I… can do is prepare you… and apologise. I am so sorry about… back there… I kissed you… I took advantage of you… but I had to do it… I had to save you… I love you… and I thought you were going to die… I just had to say… goodbye…" He tailed off again, once more succumbing to another bout of gut-wrenching pain.

Rose was left in agonised silence to digest this confession. She was stunned. He loved her? He had admitted to kissing her and apologised because he had assumed he had taken advantage of her? Her head was spinning. He would never know that she reciprocated his feelings, never know the depth of her love for him. He would soon be gone and she was powerless to prevent his fate. He had saved her, thus sacrificing himself. She couldn't stand it. She wouldn't stand it.

Mind made up, she ran over to his doubled up form and knelt on the floor next to him. He glanced up at her, tears streaking down both their faces as she lifted his head up to face her. Time seemed to slow down to a sluggish pulse which matched the beats of her heart. She gazed into his blue eyes and he drew strength from her stare. Fortified slightly by this exchange, his cloudy eyes became clearer and he anticipated what she was about to do. Leaning forward, he met her half way, their lips colliding together with the force behind them. There was no time gentleness, and they kissed desperately, teeth clashing, tongues grazing roughly against each other as they put all their passion and considerable energy into conveying to each other their love. It was as though this was their one last chance (Rose thought grimly that it probably would be) and so they put every last drop of their emotions into that kiss.

His hands were entangled in her hair, whilst hers had found their way under his shirt and jacket, pressing him closer to her. Their legs entwined, they rolled over, as each fought the other for dominance. As the Doctor once more overpowered her, her leg kicked out and hit a tiny metal catch on the outside of the central-column of the TARDIS. The catch, weakened by Rose's earlier efforts, flicked open, and a small trapdoor fell open, exposing the glowing power source within. The heart of the TARDIS.

The room was suffused with a golden glow, but neither of them noticed – they were too deeply immersed in each other as they exchanged moans and whimpers. A low hum could be heard, and if anyone was watching, they would have seen a small wisp of golden light flow from the Doctor. The flow soon increased and before long, that person would have seen a bright jet of golden light streaming from the pair on the floor. And if they were listening hard enough, they would have heard mystical music playing, as though in some far off room. Then in a flash of brilliant light, the room seemed to explode, as the glow and the music stopped with a sudden loud crash as the trapdoor swung shut.

Just before this happened, Rose had opened her eyes for the briefest of seconds, and seen the golden light, hovering like a halo around the Doctor. Thinking this to be the end, she prised her lips from his long enough to whisper "I love you Doctor with all my heart and soul; you were fantastic."

Before the explosion, he had enough time to reply "I love you too Rose, and just for the record; you are fantastic."

Then the golden light seemed to implode around them, everything was noise and confusion as they once more buried themselves in each other for one last kiss.

The ship was silent around them. Their hearts beat together, in the same regular rhythm. As though by some magical intervention, they both stirred and woke. Their eyes met and their expressions brightened with simultaneous grins as they took it all in. The TARDIS had decided that just this once; she would give them a second chance. He was still him, she was still in love and most importantly, they were both still alive.

Winking at her he got up and twisted a few dials on the control panel, he broke the silence as if stating the obvious, "Well now that's all sorted, I think it's only fair that we go back for Jack – don't you?"

Her shock soon evaporated as the ship sped through time and space, she pounced on him. "Reckon it's time we finished what we started." He grinned up at her, and drew her into another kiss, glad for once that he had power over time – he was going to make this moment last forever.