"How is she?" he asks with a tenderness in his voice as he looks across the gardens, the amber glow familiar but distant. He looks past Romana's face to Rose who sits motionless on a swing. He's sure that she demanded it, just so she can sit there in a tree of golden leaves and deep brown bark. In this light all he can see is this silhouette of her distant figure.

"She's adjusting. The chemical balance in her body is what we've been keeping an eye on. The baby though, seems to be healthy. I can only imagine the trauma she is going through, knowing she can never go back to the life she remembers. What she does remember, that is."

"Does she know?"

"It's hard not too." Romana replies, both watching as the young woman kicks her heels into the ground to push into a swinging motion. "We still have no idea how she managed to have enough of the genetically engineered organisms to give her two regenerations."

"Yes well, quirky thing that was. No idea myself, but I'm sure that someone will discover something that will make it all make perfect sense."

"Why do I have a feeling that you're behind this?" Romana inquires, a hint of deference in her voice. But she stands her ground, her chin high, not a glimpse of recognition in her eyes.

"Because I'm always behind it." He responds cheekily, his hands placed in his pockets, a small grin breaking out on his face. But his eyes tell a different story as they so often do. One of weariness and resign that he knows he can no longer hide.

He tries to recall it, the sheer magnificence and warmth of her presence, and yet as the seconds continue to pass like a constant ticking of a clock in the back of his mind, the less he remembers. It has only been a few short days since he awoke back on his home planet, a few short hours since he realized that only he and Martha remembered anything at all, only to realize that she'd begin to forget it faster than he longed for.

Bits and pieces, hour by hour.

"The eye of the storm," he murmurs aloud, unaware of Romana shaking her head at him a confounded look etched into the deepening lines of her face. But it does not shake him in the slightest. There will be many eyes, of many storms soon to follow, until this will blend in with the rest of his ever-changing memories. When he finally does notice that she still is staring at him, he begins to realize just how old she's beginning to look, much different from the young Time lady he ran off to Paris with all those years ago. He focuses on her silver hair braided through her golden blonde tresses, and it's then he realizes he made the right choice.

"Doesn't she have family? A home to go to?" Romana inquires.

"Yes a mother, quite possibly a father, though I'm not quite sure of that at the moment, and at least a good friend. But she is no longer a human by definition and I fear for her safety as well as the safety of the child. I don't want anything to happen to her."

"Of course, I see how that could make matters more complicated I'm sure. I presume the only thing left to say is congratulations Doctor, you are the first Time Lord to have a child through conception in a long time. Maybe there is hope for us still yet." She murmurs turning to watch as Rose pushes herself backwards and forwards on the swing.

"Yes, about that. Not quite sure, but that may all be a myth. A little bird told me once on my adventures that there was nothing wrong with us. That we could shut down the looms and always try again."

She stops mid-step and stares at him again with that look that still hasn't left her face.

"A little bird told you this, did they?" she asks, their steps moving towards the open door of the TARDIS, a few yards away Martha sits waiting.

"You have to know by now I never reveal my sources." He tells her, the wind blowing through his hair and trench as they walk back up the hillside. Another moment passes quietly on in its simplicity and he thinks of the miraculous return of the home planet he has secretly always treasured so dear. It has always been within him to push away the things he loved most of all.

Gallifrey, Susan, she who sits so prettily behind him on the swing.

"Does she remember anything?" he asks, breaking the silence between them and a curious look passes over the face of the woman who steps in line beside him. She stares at him in wonder and questioning, a look that he reads too well. She wonders if he has had the decency to talked to Rose himself, or if he is just trying to fil the quiet. He can tell she is not too sure what to believe.

"She says she was back at a place she calls Torchwood and she saw you come towards her, a glow about you. She remembers an intimate moment exchanged and then… nothing. Tell me, what really did happen out there Doctor? What adventure did you get up to this time that brings me back a pregnant child. One who is not born Gallifreyan but has somehow become one, and now is carrying a naturally conceived Time Lord child?"

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you." He murmurs, looking down at Martha as they reach her. She stands up and brushes her knees off, before smiling somewhat shyly at Romana.

"Martha, this is the President of Gallifrey, Romanadvoratrelundar but you can call her Romana."

Both women shake hands, a distance that only strangers possess, and it makes him smile sadly. It seems Martha has already forgotten their once tentative bond. Soon she will forget this place as well.

"Thank you Romana, for everything you've done." He tells her, his own hand lingering in hers when she moves to hold his, and he means it with the greatest of sincerity.

"I'm not quite sure what I have done Doctor other than help you reclaim your rights on Gallifrey. Though I must warn you if you wish to reclaim your name and birthright you will have to be present for a re-induction ceremony."

He looks down the hill of red grass and into the valley, past Rose's silhouette and out to the mountain range, the suns both burning brightly in the sky. Sighing, he watches the girl swing back and forth, her dress fluttering as she does so before looking back down into Romana's eyes.

"No. I am the Doctor now, and I know myself."

She nods her head just the once at him before nodding to Martha and walking away. Both Martha and the Doctor watch the elder Time Lord walk away towards the trees and Rose. Taking one last deep breath the Doctor turns to Martha and nods.

Both begin to walk back to the TARDIS in quiet, a heavy silence falling between them before Martha begins.

"You know, it won't be so bad, It's going to be nice see my family and to finally finish my exams."

"So we are going back to Earth then? Though I'm not going to lie I'm not really planning to stay that long so you can finish your exams," He adds jovially.

"What are you talking about?"

"What are YOU talking about?" He asks, turning to his companion and looking at her in wild confusion. The stop where they are, Martha looking up into his eyes with hurt and misunderstanding.

"I thought…" she trails off, looking back down towards Rose, who is now being helped by Romana back towards the city. "I thought now that you finally found Rose, you'd be probably having her around more often. You know, go on vacation, especially since my one trip was up more than awhile ago." She smiles so brightly back, a shine that is not happiness burning brilliantly in her eyes.

She places her hands in her pockets as she says this, the insecurity she feels making her modest and it's moments like these he forgets she's not psychic, nor has ever been. But it will be one more thing to forget as time continues to heal itself.

"Well, adventures big or small aren't really ideal for a baby. So I figured we may as well go get a few good ones in before we come back." A small truth and a small lie mixed together in a nonchalant answer. He doubts she'll ever come back this way with him, but she doesn't need to know that quite yet.

He continues to walk towards his ship but doesn't feel her presence beside him, so he turns back to see her still standing there.


"I don't get you. All you've ever done was want to get her back, and if you weren't talking about her I could see in your eyes you were thinking about her. Then you tell me you're the last of the Time Lords, another huge indication that maybe, just maybe you'd like to stay to rekindle some old relationships. You have everything you could ever want. A new family in the making, the girl who got away, the planet that you have missed for years, your entire race healthy and alive. They're even dropping the fact that they exiled you, making it so you can come and go as you please."


"And why are you leaving this all behind to travel with me?" she asks him exasperated.

He looks down the hill to where Rose sits motionlessly on the swing. One delicate hand pressed tenderly against her stomach. Traces of a conversation that he is suppose to have or that he has already had with her whisper to him against the wind.

He stands behind her, his trainers kicking up dust into the air, her bare feet tracing patterns in the dirt below her. He is about to speak when he hears her voice for the first time since he watched her killed.

"Swanning off then?" she asks him, trying to sound cheerful to no avail.

He is startled by the comment and comes closer to stand near the swing. He tries to look at her expectant face but finds that it's too hard for him to do and begins to stare down at his dust covered shoes, the sun shining brightly down on her beautiful features. To him, she's glowing, and it's not the pregnancy, and it's not the left over traces of time leaving her body, it's her.

It's just as simple as that, she is his Rose, and she can glow all on her own.

"Penelope, I just wanted to tell you what her name will be."

"Oh, decided then have you? Don't I get a say?" she asks looking up and into his squinting eyes.

"No, I'm just telling you as someone who can see possibilities into the future, that we already decided later on that that would be her name, and I'm just trying to save you some grief in the process."

"Ah, I see."

"Well, I'm glad to be of service," he says placing his hands in his pockets, still gazing down on her, the bright light creating a halo around her body.

"There's only one flaw in your story Doctor?"

"And what might that be?" he asks.

"That I too now can see all that is, all that was, and all that ever could be, and therefore I know how we agree on the name Penelope. We don't." she tells him, never once looking up to see his delicate smile fade from his visage.

"You are a trickster sir." She murmurs, and it's suppose to sound fun and in mockery, but is said too softly to not be taken seriously.

"Rose," he starts, trying to think of a way to explain to her what he knows, "I never meant for this to—"

"I know." She cuts him off, and there's no resentment in her voice, no anger there that he can detect. "I don't blame you in the slightest. But I'm not going to pretend I'm not the least bit petrified by all these new developments."

"Yes, but they are good developments Rose! Very good developments don't ever once think that I am unhappy with them."

"But how could you be? This is exactly what you've never wanted." She asks her voice no louder than a whisper.

"And what I'd fight to the death to keep safe." He tells her, coming up behind the swing and placing his arms around her shoulders. He leans his chin on her forehead. "Nothing in life is planned Rose. That is the beauty of time itself. Everything that is meant to happen does. Whether you want it to or not things will go the way they are suppose too, and even if they don't. Time will find a way to make it right again. You will learn that by being a time lord, you will always be changing your thoughts and memories will always distort to find a new pattern, a new way for all the things that happen to fit. That is the curse of knowing everything that is and will be. You will never truly be sure what was."

"Is that why you cannot remember either? How we got here? How this happened to us? One minute I was being sucked towards the void, the next I'm waking up beside your hospital bed, my body warmer than it has ever felt before, on a planet that I thought was—"

"Rose, I thought it was gone too. But then you came along. You saved me. You saved me all that time ago on the Game Station and you ended the Time War right there and then and you brought back my people. And you did it all for one reason, one reason that most of the people who reside on this planet find below them. You did it out of love. You, a little girl on a little planet that is so secluded in the galaxy, not a president or a world leader, a girl who loves chips and laughing. A girl who likes to sleep in late on Sundays and loves her mum even though she's insane and overbearing, a girl who has never had much but if she had one pound she'd give away two. You saved me. You saved me because you loved me. You had power that no one in the universe, not even I, could have dreamed. Power to destroy and create in the blink of an eye and you used it to lead me back to you. You brought back my planet, and made me a child, and that Rose, is all I can give you. It's all the truth I have."

"And it's a truth, that in time… I will forget, because new memories will form, and it will be like no time at all has gone missing." Rose says, and it's more of a statement than a question.

"Precisely, and in time I will forget too. Maybe not as fast as you, but I will, and all that has happened will be just another adventure that we had and escaped, and it will not seem like everything has changed so fast."

They stay there in silence for a moment, his arms still resting around her shoulders, her own hands still wrapped around the rope from her swing.

"So time just marches on does she? Never stopping for anyone? Always doing as she pleases? Muddling up even the best laid plans?"

"That's right."

"She must get lonely then. Because if our memory is always changing that means that only she holds the knowledge of what really did and didn't happen."

He stands quietly thinking about her words and the wisdom that comes from her insightful look at things. It's partly why he's drawn to her so much. Because she always has an answer that makes him think, always has an idea that seems fresh to him. It may not be original, it may not be something drastically different, but for some reason, her delivery always gets to him.

"You talk as though Time is a living entity."

"But she is isn't she? You taught me that." She answers, her hands slowly sliding up the swing to hold his hands in her own.

The stay that way for what seems to be forever, before she drops her hands from his and he takes a few steps back, the ticking at the back of his head is getting worse and it's time for him to say what he has come down here to tell her.

"I have to—"

"I know."

"It's not you, it's just that—"

"I know."

"I'll be—"

"I know."

He sighs, and shakes his head at the awkwardness of the situation, scratching the back of his neck with his left hand.

"You know, I thought this would have been a harder conversation."

"Go. Do what you need to do. But don't forget to come home."

He nods, and then realizes that she won't be able to see the affirmation from where she's sitting.

"I will."

He begins to walk away from the swing, a sinking feeling going on through his chest, but with every step he takes further away from her the lighter his steps are until he takes a moment to turn around and see her again standing a few meters away.

"My mum was right you know." She quietly tells him, her voice barely above a murmur. He is about to ask her about what before he thinks better of it and waits for her to explain.

"She said, one day that I'd keep on changing, and that in time there'd be a woman, a strange woman some planet a billion miles away from Earth and she wouldn't be Rose Tyler. Not anymore. Not even human…"

And with that he begins to walk away.

He looks back to Martha who continues to stare at him incredulously and thinks for a moment what to tell her, if he should explain that leaving is in his blood and even with the ability to come back for Rose and the fact that Gallifrey still exists that he still longs to be free. He thinks about how to tell her that she means more to him that he'll ever know and that one day she and Rose will get along just fine, just as they did in the past, a past she does not remember anymore. He thinks about telling her that Rose does not hate her or blame her for stealing him away so she needn't worry so much. Or that they still have adventures they have to go on, still have people to meet for penance before he can settle down and forgive himself for all his indiscretions. He even considers telling her that the next time they part she'll be leaving him and this moment in time will be long forgotten.

But instead he looks down into her dark black eyes, sees the confusion and the hope there and knows that the simplest of words have always held the most power.

"Rose is my past, and she may very well be my future. But you Martha are my present which is all that matters. Now let's get going I know exactly where I want to go next." He tells her before walking through the TARDIS doors and waiting for her to walk through behind him.

"Oh yeah, and just where is that?" she asks him, her hands in her back pockets as she watches him dash around the TARDIS console with energy and delight.

"We're going to go have tea with an old friend of mine. Tell me Martha, have you ever met a real Captain before?"