A/N: Arghhhhhhhh I know I said no more until after the wedding but I dreamed this little one shot up last night and had to get it down on paper. Set immediately after Doomsday so spoilers for up until there. I own nothing and the song lyrics are from Learn to be Lonely for Phantom of the Opera, the movie.

He needed to go. For sanities sake he needed to go. He'd had an adventure, he hadn't wanted to but the bride standing in the middle of the TARDIS had sort of decided things for him. He'd done what he did best, saved the day, everyone happy, universe sorted. It was then that the quiet time came, when the TARDIS was silent and every step brought a memory of her, a discarded jacket, a prickly hair brush down the back of a chair, photographs scattered on the worktop in the TARDIS kitchen where they'd been putting her album together the day before she left. He'd completed it, written little messages to the pictures she'd taken like she'd always done. The final picture was one of them together, he looked so young in the photo, only a few years older than her but in his heart, beneath the cheeky smile and spiky hair, in his heart he felt every year of his long life as if it was a millennium and it hurt to breathe.

He smiled at the memory of the picture taken, nineteen fifties Britain, day of the Coronation. Rose had been attacked by The Wire, her face taken away from her but he had saved her, saved them all and then they went to the tiny street party as if nothing had happened. They'd laughed and celebrated with the simple families on the small London street. The dancing had started as dusk fell, he remembered Rose laughing as some man well into his sixties decided to whirl her round in a jitter-bug, causing her to stumble in her heels on the cobbles. She'd finally persuaded him to dance with her and he found his feet were a lot more co-operative in this incarnation than his last, managing to whirl her round to the fast paced music, enjoying the fact that she was laughing and smiling in his arms. He'd ended up showing off and making an idiot of himself but that only made her laugh all the harder, the laughter he missed.

As the street quieted the slower, gentler music had flowed into the party. A waltz had played and he'd made her smile by giving her a dignified bow before offering her his hand, laughing himself as she offered him an overly dramatic curtsy before allowing him to turn her into the dance. She'd clung a little tighter to him than necessary but he hadn't minded, the night was warm, the mood was high and all he could see were two chocolate eyes staring into his. The universe had even quieted in his mind for the few moments of the dance and he'd felt at peace, not knowing that only a few short months later he would be alone with only a photograph to remember the night by.

That's why he found himself here, in his own universe, on a cold day in Norway, standing on the grey beach of Bad Wolf Bay. He could imagine where she'd been standing, right in front of him, her eyes full of tears and love and loss as she spoke to him. Saying the words he wished she'd said earlier if only to have kicked him into acting on them but for all his powers and intelligence he couldn't change the past, couldn't go back and undo what had been done but he could give her this. He clicked the sonic screwdriver and a gentle melody filtered across the silent beach, a song he'd heard and clung to merely days after she'd left. It fitted him perfectly.

He stood up straight, wiping a hand across his eyes to wipe away the sand that was making them water he was sure. He bowed low, keeping his eyes raised as if they were focused on hers, always a little shorter than him. He extended his hand.

"May I?" he muttered under his breath.

He remembered the feeling of her warm hand as it slipped into his and he drew her close, wrapping an arm around her waist as her free hand slipped up to his shoulder. His feet began to move.

Child of the wilderness,

Born into emptiness,

Learn to be lonely,

Learn to find your way in darkness,

Who will be there for you,

Comfort and care for you,

Learn to be lonely,

Learn to be your one companion.


Rose didn't know what pulled her from her mother's arms, why she walked back to where the image of the Doctor had been standing only moments before. Something stirred in the air around her and she smiled to herself, shaking her head at what she wanted to do but not being able to shake the feeling. She curtsied, a childish movement, opening out her arms as if she was holding out a full skirt before placing her hand into thin air, feeling the familiar coolness around her fingers. She reached up her hand, imagining his height as if he stood before her, her chin level with his shoulder, just the right height she remembered whenever she tucked herself into his embrace to feel completely surrounded by him.

Her feet moved of their own accord, not caring for the movement of the wet sand beneath them as she felt herself wrapped in a familiar warmth. The lap of the waves and the cry of the gulls merged into a melody, a sweet, sad song but she smiled all the same, closing her eyes as she moved.

Never dream out in the world,

There are arms to hold you,

You've always known

Your heart was on its own.

So laugh in your loneliness

Child of the wilderness,

Learn how to love

Life that is lived alone.


Anyone passing merely glanced over the figures, seemingly dancing on their own on a cold windswept beach. The man with the tails of his coat flying out behind him in the wind, the girl with her hair blowing unchecked around her features, both smiling the same pained smile, the smile that told of love and loss. People turned their heads away, unwilling to intrude on this most sacred of moments for anyone who has ever loved and lost will no that the last dance is the most precious of all.

Life can be lived,

Life can be loved


A/N: Was it any good? I just had this thought in my head last night and I couldn't not put it down on paper, well computer. Please review.

Nova x