Title: Bittersweet Memories
Author: Katie (vands88)
Rating: PG-13
Timeline: Post S2 (DT series).
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who, it belongs to the BBC and co.

A/N: Another little random fic I wrote during my exam period. Kate has been in my head a while, I finally decided to write her into a story. Watch out for plenty more of her in future fics!

Beta'd by Jalyn and Bree because Claire decided to go off and have a life.

This was the first time Kate had been in the Doctor's bedroom. It was fairly large but also strangely plain for someone who's been around for several hundred years. The single exception was a lone photo frame by the bedside.

Curiosity got the better of Kate as she slowly wandered over to the small cabinet and carefully picked up the silver frame. Inside was a single picture of the Doctor and a girl. She had short blonde hair and looked a couple of years older than herself. They were standing in what appeared to be snow, and the Doctor's arms were wrapped securely around her waist as they both smiled at the camera. They looked truly happy. Was it possible that this was his former companion? He was rather touchy about the subject; perhaps this was why.

The slam of a door snapped her out of her thoughts as she spun around, photo frame still in hand, to face the intruder.

It was the Doctor.

Kate mumbled an apology, ashamed that she was caught snooping around his room and turned away slightly so he couldn't see the embarrassed blush creep up onto her cheeks.

"It's okay." He said quietly, taking the frame from her hand gently and putting it back on the bedside table with a sigh.

"Did you love her?" The question slipped out of Kate's mouth before she could stop herself and she was about to apologise before the Doctor surprised her by answering her inappropriate question.

"For better or for worse, yes, I did love her."

Even though he had his back to her, she could tell he was upset just by his whispered and slightly strained voice.

"What was her name?" Kate asked attentively, knowing she was pushing the subject, but she was desperate to know more.

"Rose. Her name is Rose."

Kate only had time to register the fact that the Doctor was speaking in present tense before he continued.

"We were…" He sighed once more, running his hand through his already ruffled hair, his eyes fixed on the photograph in front of him, back turned to her. "We…we kissed a couple of times…several times actually. Then, one night…" His voice caught in his throat, Kate could tell he was getting close to tears if he wasn't already. "She left the next morning." The Doctor finished and turned to face his new companion.

Kate could see that his eyes were moist, and only then did it hit her how much he must've loved this woman. Kate gulped, feeling awkward seeing the Doctor on the verge of tears. "Why…why did she leave?"

A bittersweet smile crossed his lips, as if he was remembering a better time with Rose. "She was more intelligent than she ever let on. She knew that if she stayed any longer, it would just be harder to say goodbye." The Doctor bowed his head, dropping his eyes to the ground. "Now, she's probably living in a house somewhere…with a mortgage, probably got a fantastic job where she isn't running for her life everyday, maybe even got herself an actual boyfriend."

Kate noticed how his voice decreased in volume until it was barely a whisper. A few silent moments passed, the Doctor in quiet mourning and Kate not knowing whether to leave him alone for a moment, whether to push the subject even further or to just stand there like a lemon. She went for the lemon. She shifted on her feet and started fiddling with anything she could get hold of to try and ignore the awkwardness that had settled over the room.

"So, did you find the petroleum groggon?"

Kate jumped at the Doctor's unexpected mood change but nonetheless was happy for the rapid alteration of topic.

"Umm…no, I kinda got distracted. Didn't you say it was over there?" She asked, pointing to his rather large wardrobe.

"That I did Katie, that I did," he said, his mind obviously still on their previous topic of discussion.

She watched as he sauntered over to the cupboard, absent-mindedly sorting through the junk that lay there. Kate stood there for a minute, still digesting the information he'd just revealed before going to help the Doctor once more.

I hope you guys enjoyed it. Please review!