Disclaimer: As usual, it doesn't belong to me! Believe me, I'll let you know when it does.
A/N: Just in case any of you have forgotten, 'Kroptor' is the name of the planet that featured in The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit.
They had still been recovering from the events on Kroptor. It wasn't fair that something so big should happen so soon. They hadn't even set out to save people, not that day. It was supposed to be fun – a sort of, 'let's just see where the TARDIS wants to take us today, hmm?' trip. It was never supposed to turn into life and death, never supposed to make them feel so guilty for mocking the potential danger that could await them outside of the silly little cupboard they'd landed in.
Unfortunately, most things around them seemed to end up that way.
Fun…that was something they had barely experienced since. Warily, tentatively, they had stepped out into the universe again, always knowing exactly where they were going and double-checking before they opened the doors to a new world. At first, they had simply floated around the space-time vortex, still reeling from their encounters with the Beast, living in the TARDIS almost as they would a house. Always moving on, always forgetting, but this was one thing they truly needed time to recover from.
The Doctor wandered aimlessly around his ship, usually accompanied by a book or some kind of gadget that needed fixing and, more often than not, Rose. The day she got a phonecall from her mother, hysterically rambling on about someone called Elton, they were sitting in a room Rose had nicknamed 'the junk shop', unable to assign any Earth-room personality to it due to the mountains of clutter and collection of unidentifiable objects scattered about the place. She flicked through a magazine and sat on a large, squishy beanbag in a well-lit corner. Out of the corner of her eye, she watched the Doctor as he lay on his front beside her, favouring the floor to another beanbag. He was propped up on his elbows, wearing his glasses and a light frown as his eyes scanned a volume printed in a language Rose did not understand and the TARDIS did not want to translate.
Both had been surprised to hear the phone ring. It hadn't been long since Rose's last call home, and no one ever really rang her anymore. Those thoughts, coupled with the remembrance of the Beast's voice echoing out of the speaker, made Rose answer her SuperPhone rather hesitantly.
"Rose? Rose? Oh my God, Rose, there's this bloke! He's called Elton an' he's ever so good at fixing washing machines but he's got this picture of you and everything, and I swear he's after you and the Doctor! I thought, well what if he's one of them Slipeen thingies that were in Downing Street? I never know anymore, I've got aliens chasin' me left right and centre since you took off with himself! And - and – Rose? Are you there? Are you even listening to me?"
Rose breathed a sigh of relief before holding the phone a little away from her ear and laughing lightly at the incessant babble issuing from it in her mother's voice. The Doctor looked up, eyebrows raised in amusement as he bit back a smile.
Within five minutes, they had the full story and the Doctor had to warn Rose against running out of the TARDIS there and then and beating 'Elton' to a pulp: "Five years for assault and battery? Prison visits aren't my scene, Rose." Though, after some gentle persuasion and a fair bit of eyelash fluttering on Rose's part (he only gave in because it was funny, he told himself), he was convinced that letting Rose loose on their 'stalker' would be as good a first post-Kroptor trip out of the TARDIS as any. He put away his book and set the co-ordinates for modern day Earth. When he insisted on stepping out first, he wasn't sure if it was due to residual paranoia, a slight protectiveness over his companion he wasn't willing to admit to or a physical need to stop Rose dashing out and killing the first 'weedy blonde' she saw.
Rose's anger, intensified by too long feeling nothing but worry, relief and the pain of reliving memories, was enough to spark them into action. Ready to feel again, after almost four full days inside the TARDIS (a personal record), they sought out a destination: London 2012.
Not adventure, perhaps, but certainly fun. However, this was yet another adventure where fun turned to fear and nothing went quite as planned. The thought of having lost the Doctor hit Rose harder than ever before after being so close to losing him such a short time ago. She wasn't ready for this, wasn't quite ready to face life and death again when expecting laughter and smiles.
So, she was glad beyond words when his hand found hers as they wandered down the street. She needed that contact; needed to be assured that he was still there and always would be. They watched the opening ceremony together, his arm around her shoulders chasing away his earlier warning of 'never say never ever'. It was at times like these when she felt that, despite what had passed just hours ago, this would last forever and that nothing could possibly go wrong. She leant her head on his shoulder with a sigh and he looked down at her curiously.
"Comfy?" he asked, eyebrow quirked, smile twitching across his lips.
Determined that they wouldn't dwell, wouldn't stagnate once again, the Doctor took Rose to a touristy, peaceful planet, sure to be devoid of danger and trouble, where she'd bought the bazoolium for her mother. If they were honest, both of them were bored beyond belief despite the advertised seven moons and space-age theme park.
However, whatever happened to them they were always adventurers, always seeking out danger whether they wanted to or not, always wanting to travel and do something out of the ordinary. Neither of them content with tourist attractions, they settled for beauty and the thrill of previously untrodden ground beneath their feet. They stood together at the edges of the universe and the centres of solar systems, watching moons come up on Jupiter and riding them back down on Mars.
Adventure called, as it always would, and once they were required to run. Nothing compared to what they had faced, giant overgrown fruit with legs brought laughter rather than fear along with the rush of adrenaline. They had ran, hand in hand, giggling, back to the TARDIS and collapsed into hysterics the second the door had shut behind them and the sound of fruit splattering against the walls reached their ears.
A day later, they saved a planet from killer algae (all in a day's work), persuaded a yellow polka-dotted alien out of taking over the world and entered themselves in some Ancient Greek games after Rose had taken a fancy to pole-vaulting. After a short trip to the TARDIS's medical bay – she was not nearly as good as it as she would have liked, and the Doctor received a fair few bruises for laughing at her – she requested a trip home to deliver the bazoolium to her mother.
It wasn't supposed to go this wrong. They weren't even supposed to be there for more than a few hours. Greetings, present, laundry, out. That was the way it was supposed to be.
It wasn't fair that he lost her so soon after finding her again, that she lost him so soon after finding him in the first place. It had only been two years – the tiniest blip of his life and even a fairly insignificant amount of time in hers.
Not long enough, she thought as she stared out over the Norwegian sea more than a year later. Not nearly enough time to spend with someone like him.
The universe didn't give them a fair chance. They were so different; had so many odds stacked up against them. There was always something dangerous being thrown at them, trying to separate them, often almost succeeding. They keep on trying to split us up, but they'll never ever manage it. It couldn't've lasted forever, no matter how much she had wanted it to or how much she had always believed it would.
Now they were both alone, and it wasn't fair.