Okay, just a few things here. Although I've always been a bit of a Who fan I only got really into it during the past two years, so I apologise if the Doctor is terribly OOC in this. That goes for Rose as well; I find it much more difficult to get into her head than I do the Doctor's. But this is my first Doctor Who fanfiction, so be gentle!

Also, I didn't mean for this to be so long, so if some bit seem a little disjointed that's because I was trying to keep the word count down. Hopefully it's not too long and makes reasonable sense.

Rating: PG-13, 12A, K, or whatever rating system you're using.

Characters: Mostly the Doctor (Ten and beyond) and Rose, some Mickey, Jackie, Pete (and a brief cameo by Donna the Bride, lol)

Pairing: Doctor/Rose

Spoilers: Doomsday, and various small nods to lots of other episodes.

Words: 6140 (yes, I went over, I am a n00b)

Summary: A reunion fic. The events at the end of Doomsday and what happens to Rose and the Doctor afterwards. It's pretty angsty at the beginning but gets happier, I promise! There's not really any fluff, it's more, sweet really. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who, and if I did would I be wasting my time writing fanfiction?

Worlds Apart

The Doctor:

He knew that Rose would leave eventually; she would get bored of him, want to settle, find something else which took her fancy, or, heaven forbid, die. But he hadn't been expecting it quite so soon.

His eyes widened as he saw what she was about to do, his determined, brave, reckless Rose. She had to hold on, she just had to. But even as he watched her fingers slipped, as if in slow motion, and she lost her grip. Their screams rang out through the room, into the void, and all he could do was watch, watch as his whole world slipped away.

And then, a shape, an apparition, a man, Pete Tyler caught her before she fell into the abyss. The Doctor's sense of relief was fleeting as father and daughter both disappeared. And she was gone.

Slowly he walked towards the spot where Rose had been moments before, leaning against the wall for support. He reached out his hand to where he knew that right next to him and so far away, was Rose.

As he turned and walked away he could not free himself from his thoughts of her. Even as he removed the last traces of the Cybermen from this Earth, as he returned to the TARDIS, returned to his life.

That first night he wandered the TARDIS, hardly registering the direction of his movements or the length of time he spent pacing the corridors of his ship. He already knew where he would end up.

Upon arriving at the door to Rose's room he took a deep and steadying breath before reaching out with a shaking hand to push it open. Everything about the room felt like her. Clothes hung over the back of her chair, books littered the floor and alien trinkets she had brought back with her adorned every available surface. He noticed her hairbrush balanced precariously on the edge of a table, where it had obviously landed after she had thrown it in her rush to join him on yet another adventure. He nudged it back onto the surface and ran his fingers over the bristles. There were still some hairs left in the brush and he gently picked up one fine, smooth strand and ran it between thumb and forefinger before letting it fall from his grasp.

After a moment he turned and moved toward the chair. He looked at the clothes with fathomless eyes, slowly picked up the T-shirt at the top of the pile and cradled it to his chest, then brought the item up to bury his face in the fabric. His fingers clawed into the material as he inhaled her scent and his senses tricked his brain into believing that she was still there. After a while he returned the clothing to its place next to his hearts. He sightlessly and silently slipped off his shoes, and without relinquishing his hold on the T-shirt, shrugged his coat off his shoulders and onto the floor.

He stepped backwards and turned again to face the bed where Rose had slept for so many nights. She had attempted to make the bed but the sheets were still crumpled from sleep. He lightly touched the covers before grasping the corner and pulling them back. The small movement of air wafted Rose's scent to him again and he closed his eyes to savour it, then climbed into her bed and brought the covers back up to where his head rested on her pillow, surrounded by everything that was and is hers. He curled his body up into a tight ball, all the while clutching, crushing her clothing to his chest. He felt as if he would fall into himself under the weight of the pain, and let out a silent wail of despair. Not for the first time the Doctor cried himself to sleep.

He travelled alone for some time afterwards, unable to bring himself to see anyone but her as a travelling companion.

Months passed by as he repaired the holes and tears in the universe, sealing each one with an increasing sense that he was becoming further and further from Rose. But he used those remaining passages through the void, and into the universe where Rose resided, to call to her. Even in his restless sleep he still called to her, as constant whisper in his mind.

And eventually the time came to say goodbye. The telepathic link was so weak that when he came to closing the last breach he had to spend much of his time around colossal, and highly dangerous stellar phenomena just to send her the message that he was coming. Coming to say his final farewell.

He had never been exact in his piloting of the TARDIS, and frequently made rather large and often interesting errors of time and place, but this time he made sure that his calculations and adjustments were correct to the smallest of details. Rose deserved so much more than this, but it was the best he could do.

He had spent ages on his appearance, not something he was accustomed to doing, and then prepared himself to send her a message in holographic form for one last time.

He appeared on a beach, somewhere in the north he thought, it looked cold. He turned his head slightly, and there she was. She had heard, listened and followed. He couldn't help but smile as joy lit up her eyes and she walked towards him.

She told him that he looked like a ghost so he increased the density of the image, hating that he could not be solid enough to touch her and hold her one last time. She smiled even as tears spilled from her eyes and he smiled back. They didn't have much time, they both knew it, but neither wanted to say goodbye yet. The Doctor gazed at her as she gathered up her courage.

"I l . . . I love you!" She whispered in a strangled proclamation.

The Doctor's hearts leapt, even though he knew it already, she had never said anything before, but he knew it, and fervently wished he had said something before.

"Quite right too." He replied, his brain refusing to come up with anything more adequate. He always had something to say, but when it really mattered words were simply not enough. He began again; "I suppose, if it's my last chance to say it . . . Rose Tyler . . ."

The beach, and Rose, dissolved around him in an instant. The words died on his tongue. He hadn't said it, his chance, and Rose, had been robbed from him forever. Tears leaked down his face unreservedly as the pain that had been threatening to take hold overcame him. His whole body shook and he grabbed on to the console as his knees buckled. He felt sick, and so completely alone. Rose was gone, and a part of him was with her. The pain was almost unbearable.

But he would bear it; she was alive, she was safe, living a new life, everything he could have hoped for her. She wouldn't want him to be miserable. So he straightened up and dried his tears, flipped switches and pulled levers, and set the TARDIS on its way again.

Suddenly something white caught his eye and he turned sharply. Rose? It couldn't be. The figure turned slowly on the spot. The face was not Rose's. The Doctor let out the breath he had been holding.

"What?" Asked the Doctor, thoroughly confused.

"Who are you?" The figure demanded.

"What?" The Doctor replied.

A new adventure had begun for him, an adventure without the woman who loved him, and whom he loved so dearly. But he would go on, for her.

The Doctor continued to traverse time and space. When he had told Rose that he would carry on travelling alone he hadn't lied, even though he picked up more companions along the way. Male, female, human, alien, robot. Sometimes there would be just one person to whom he showed the stars, at others there would be two or three, even four on occasion.

He made a promise to himself to never again allow more than three other people on the TARDIS with him, four people were too easy to lose and far too hard to look after. He almost felt like a father again when they would argue over trivialities, or wander off on some alien planet to invariably get embroiled in some sort of trouble.

But even with so many people around him he was still alone. All of his companions noticed it. An impenetrable wall keeping anyone from getting too close. And a recklessness, wild abandon, almost carelessness for his own life. He still felt enormous affection for everyone who was clever enough, or full of curiosity, or courageous enough to travel with him, and it pained him to see each one go, but none of them were Rose.

He took pleasure and found peace in small things. The sunsets on Earth, the wind at his back, finding a small animal alive in the wreckage after some epic battle, dancing around the TARDIS, running, other people's smiles, cups of tea just the way Rose made them, he still lived it all, with all the life he had to give.

But sometimes he could not help himself but return to places where he knew she would be. He would land the TARDIS on the roof of one of the buildings near the Powell estate and watch her coming and going, and traipse the halls of what used to be Torchwood HQ until he found that room again.

And he regenerated, after one too many careless acts of heroism. With a different body he need not worry about her catching sight of him. He was ginger. He imagined how Rose would laugh at that fact. He only did it the once, he hadn't realised that it might nearly destroy him. Buying numerous items from the shop where she worked, taking them back to the TARDIS and deliberately breaking them, only to bring them back again when he knew she would be working on the customer care desk. He had stared so much that she had to ask him three times if he was alright, before he was brought back to his senses and engaged her in conversation about holidays in Europe. She clearly thought he was slightly mad, but he didn't care, he was so happy to see her. He was so happy until she finished dealing with his multitudinous products and she smiled gently at him, smiled at him as a stranger. Of course, how stupid of him, she wouldn't recognise someone she hadn't even met yet, she wouldn't look at him with all the love in the universe, she wouldn't be there to hold his hand. He practically ran from the shop and back to the quiet sanctity of his ship. No, he would not be doing that again.

The Daleks returned, countless times, and each time the Doctor defeated them without mercy, for they had been the ones to finally take everything from him. He carried on fighting the good fight, righting wrongs and correcting histories. He passed his 1000th year, regenerated again and continued to change and learn and show others the wonders of a universe whose beginning and end, and everything in between, he had borne witness. Finally he removed the Daleks from their existence in this universe, resulting in his last regeneration, and then there was nothing. Nothing left for him to repair, or patch up, or to learn. At least not in his universe. Perhaps now was the time for the one adventure he thought he would never have.