This is the LAST chapter. Thank you for all the wonderful reviews! PLEASE READ THE AUTHOR'S NOTE AT THE END!


Red Dragon

Chapter Twenty-One

Forgiveness: The End

Consciousness slowly returned to engulf her mind. Groaning, Rose opened her eyes, blinking rapidly as she came to recognise her surroundings. She was in the TARDIS, in her rooms.

How did I get here? she wondered.

And then it all came back to her, the memories of what had happened. Her stomach dropped as she recalled the Bad Wolf's hold over her…she remembered feeling like she had been dying, but she wasn't dead.

Why?

And that was only one of the many questions forming in her mind as she darkness claimed her once again.


The Doctor woke to feeling much better then he had been in a long time. He had slept in periods for the past week and a half. Rose had still not woken from her slumber. The damage that the Bad Wolf's destruction had done to her had been serious, but in the end Mickey and Martha had been able to save her, after the Doctor had literally spent his energy trying to pull her back from the brink of death. She had nearly died, of course, but in the end she had prevailed. He had found her and brought her back.

By all accounts Rose should've died.

But she hadn't.

Through the link they shared, the Doctor had kept her from falling into the darkness, which was also one of the main reasons why he had been sleeping a lot. That one action had taken most of his remaining strength and he had spent the better part of the last week and a half in periods of hibernation, being fed through a drip in his arm, keeping him alive while he healed himself.

His stomach rumbled and for the first time in months he wondered what he could have to eat and went off to find something nourishing.


"How are you feeling?" Martha asked Rose as she woke once more.

"Like I drunk too much." She replied. Rose placed her hand on her forehead, trying to ignore the pain that was throbbing there. Her throat hurt too. "Can I have some water?"

"Sure." Martha reached behind her picking up a glass and handed it to Rose who drank from it greedily.

"Thank you," she replied softly.

Martha smiled warmly. "It's the least I can do."

"How long have I been out?"

"About a week and a half. You nearly died." Martha replied.

"What?" And then she remembered the cold words of the Bad Wolf. "I was supposed to."

"That's what the Doctor told us, but he saved you."

Rose felt stunned. "How?" she mumbled, unable to comprehend what she had been told. Why would he do that after I betrayed his trust?

"It might be best if he explained it," Martha shrugged, "I'm not that good at explaining complex things." She smiled wanly.

Rose nodded. She couldn't face him - she just couldn't. Not after what she had done to him. He had the most reason to hate her. All the pain he had endured could be placed upon her shoulders. He had no reason to forgive her. She fully expected him to tell her to leave.

I should've died…then I wouldn't have to face him…


The Doctor was munching on a sandwich in the control room when Mickey walked in humming softly to himself.

"Hey," he didn't feel much like joking.

"I see you're feeling better." Mickey remarked.

"Yeah. Hungry too."

"Have you spoken to Rose?" Mickey asked.

The Doctor shook his head. "No…I wouldn't know what to say to her."

"Tell her the truth." Mickey advised.

"The truth?"

"You love her; she loves you. Simple. She's not going to be able to forgive herself if you don't. You may have already said it to her, but she was in the grip of the Bad Wolf then. It needs to be said to help her along the road to recovery."

"She thinks I will hate her, doesn't she?"

Mickey nodded. "Yeah. Everything that has happened in the past three months has in fact been the Bad Wolf's doing, but Rose feels its her fault."

"Has it really been three months?"

"Yeah. You were held prisoner for about ten weeks. Two and a half months. Though Rose managed to use the TARDIS she couldn't set the date when she wanted to arrive. For all we know you could've been there for years before we found you, but to us it wasn't."

"It did feel like years." The Doctor mused. "But I don't blame Rose. It's not her fault. She won in the end so it doesn't matter." He smiled wanly. "And I'll speak to Rose as soon as I've finished this sandwich."


"Hello Rose."

The soft, manly voice caused her to look up, her eyes widened when she saw who was leaning against the door into her room, Rose swallowed and forced her eyes away from his face. She could not look at him. She couldn't. It would make it harder to be rejected otherwise.

"I know what you are thinking." He said slowly. The Doctor walked into the room and sat down on the edge of her bed, beside her, smiling lightly. "You can look at me; I'm not going to bite you know."

Very slowly she glanced up meeting his intense gaze. Her insides felt all squirmy inside. "I'm sorry." She whispered. But it wasn't enough, not by a long shot.

"You don't have to be sorry." The Doctor replied lightly.

Her head snapped up (she was once more looking at her feet), "What? I have every right to be!"

"Maybe," the Doctor explained, "but I have every right to refuse that. It's not your fault. None of what happened is."

Rose was silent. She knew by now there was no point in arguing. Besides she didn't have the strength to either.

The Doctor continued. "I suppose you want to know how you survived?"

She nodded numbly. She had to know this. She had to know the truth. The truth of how she had survived when she should not have.

"We are linked together. Our minds are connected through the TARDIS, so really, all I did was pour some of my energy into you to heal all your wounds inside. The Bad Wolf couldn't stop me because you had won - you have the power to control it now and not the other way around. By all accounts you should've died but the Bad Wolf underestimated that I still had some strength left. It was enough to exhaust me to no end I assure you."

Rose was silent. Somehow she had known that. There link meant that they could never really be apart. "You should hate me after everything I've done to you."

The Doctor allowed a small smile to grace his lips. "And how can I hate you when you are the woman that I love?"

Rose allowed the shock to cascade on her face before letting out a shaky 'what?'.

"It's true. I do. And I always have done." The Doctor shrugged. "I've just been afraid that you would not feel the same way. I was scared…after being apart for so long that it had changed."

"It can't," she admitted, "I love you too." Tears began to well in her eyes. I don't deserve his kindness.

"Don't cry," he whispered.

She was quite aware that he was close to her and she could not pull back in time before he kissed her. And when they parted he spoke to her.

"Rose, no matter what you think, I will always love you. You couldn't help yourself before but I can help you now." He took her hands in his. "Everything is different now because I'm not leaving you. Ever."

All Rose could do was believe him and they melted into a hug, rocking back and forth.


Everything was alright in the universe for the four travellers of time. Though Rose Tyler blamed herself for everything that had happened the help of the Doctor and his love for her helped cure her of that.

It would be sometime before Rose Tyler fully forgave herself, but in the end it would be worth it.

For the first time in months, since the beginning of the 'Bad Wolf' business, she was happy. Looking to the future she wondered what would happen next.

The End

Please Let Me Know What You Think!

I believe this could've been done better but the story is all wrapped up. Despite the fact that we don't know what happened to Derol Flynn (well the characters just leave him tied up after sending a message out) rest assured that since I am the author he did go to jail and rot in there for the rest of his life. The characters just don't have that bit of information which is why I didn't feature it in this chapter.


IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT FUTURE STORIES

I am quite aware that some people may want me to continue writing 'Doctor Who' fan fiction, however I am not going to be writing anymore until after the end of Season 3 next year. At the moment I'm working on two 'Harry Potter' stories which I would like to complete before embarking on any more Doctor Who stories. Since these two stories are incredibly long there is a fifty percent chance that I won't write any 'Who' fiction for a very long time.

If I do write any more Doctor Who fan fictions they will be set in the universe that I have created and will follow on from 'Red Dragon'.

Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed my two Doctor Who stories and I hope that you will join me again when (and if) I write any more in this category.

Until that time, farewell, and may you enjoy Doctor Who Series 3 in 2007! And have a good new year and remember, have lots of fun!

Leila-Rose-Bell