A/N: Final chapter, can't believe I finally got here. Its been a bit of a journey. By the way I have know idea where Madame De Pompadour is buried or what state her grave is in so please give me some artistic licence.
Thank You For Loving Me
The wind blew a fragile skeleton leaf across the grass and over the small gravel path until it fluttered to rest on the elegant stone work, still fairly intact despite its age. Where before had been nothing but an empty patch of land before the headstone there now lay a delicate bunch of lilies, hand tied in yellow ribbon. The breeze fluttered the petals as it sighed through the trees that canopied over head, shading the quiet, lonely spot from both the sun and rain, creating a timeless place of rest. Long, elegant fingers traced the well worn lettering, carving out the name anew. Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson.
Not far off from the figure knelt by the graveside stood a small stone bench, its soul occupant silent and reverent to the scene before her. Watching but respecting the privacy the moment called for. She turned her eyes to the ground at her feet as the man at the grave side wiped away an errant tear, keeping them trained on her baby blue walking boots until she heard the crunch of the gravel beneath familiar converse as he stood and came towards her. She looked up into wet but happy eyes and took the hand that was offered to her, pulling herself to her feet and then hugging him tight.
"You okay?" Rose asked, whispering in the silent graveyard.
"Yeah," said the Doctor rubbing her back gently, "Thanks for being so understanding."
"You needed closure, too many goodbyes not said can't be good for you," she said, pulling back and fixing his gaze, "I only wish I could do more, help you find all the others."
"This was one of the important ones," he said, "I only hope that none of them remember what the Idralas did to them."
"They're resting Doctor and even if they do remember, they'll also remember what you did for them," said Rose, taking his hand as she led him from the small graveyard in the centre of Paris.
Not two days before they had visited Penrith and the graves of Grace and her family, both of them wanting to say goodbye to them once again. Rose had made a point of picking the wild flowers that had been growing on the burned out site of the old house to lay upon the graves, even laying some for Clarence. The Doctor had left her to her task at one point, going into the small church. Rose had sought him out later, finding him staring up at the altar from his place on the pew, far from prayer but introspective nonetheless. She had sat beside him and taken his hand, asking him if he felt any better having visited the graves and putting aside the memory of the Idralas and its torture. In his often arch style he had pushed away the question, claiming science and reason over the belief of souls and the importance of a grave. Rose had seen the sadness in him though and that night she had made a suggestion she would have thought would cause her pain but only brightened her heart to know that she could help him.
So now they stood in a Paris graveyard in two thousand and seven, a quiet little known place where the once celebrated mistress of Louis the Fifteenth spent her rest. Rose had always been jealous of Reinette, her beauty and wit attracting the Doctor and pulling him off course while his relationship with Rose was only in its fledgling stage. The pain Rose had felt at the time had been immense but it had cooled over the months following, as her love for the Doctor grew and his in turn for her. She knew however that he had never got to say goodbye to the woman who had held his heart if only for a brief time and Rose knew all to well the pain of not saying goodbye only she had the good fortune that the man she couldn't say goodbye to still lived on.
Rose cast a look back over her shoulder as they passed the gates onto the street once more, smiling at the image of the canopied graveyard and finding it a fitting place for Reinette, understated and elegant. She turned to find the Doctor smiling down at her, his brown eyes holding the familiar spark of adventure once again.
"I've just thought," he said, with a familiar grin, "While we're in Paris I'll just have to take you up the Eiffel Tower."
Rose raised an eyebrow at his tone, "Indeed? I don't know whether that's a threat or a promise," she muttered, taking hold of his tie and pulling his face down to hers, "But knowing your filthy mind darling I can imagine that its much more of a promise."
"You know me so well."
"Don't I just," said Rose, allowing him to straighten and taking his hand, "Come on then, isn't it about time you took votre dame to Notre Dame?"
The Doctor groaned as Rose hurried off down the path, throwing a bright smile over her shoulder, "Rose Marion Tyler that was just bad!"
"Right, space suit on, where are we going?" asked Rose, bounding into the control room in the same black space suit she had worn to enter the Idralas' realm, her oxygen mask tucked under her arm.
She paused, regarding the Doctor as he worked, his back to her as he fiddled with the controls and clearly so deep in work that he hadn't heard her. She set her helmet down on the captain's chair and began to tiptoe over to him, intent on giving him a shock. She was barely an inch away when he spoke.
"I know you're there Rose," he said.
"Damn," muttered Rose, "Why aren't you kitted out? You told me to be quick and you're not even out of your jacket."
"I'm not going," said the Doctor turning to her, an expression on his face one that Rose had never seen before and it frightened her.
"Doctor what's wrong?"
"Nothing, just not something I can come with you on is all."
"You're not making sense," said Rose plonking herself against the console only to be ushered off once more and over to the captain's chair. The Doctor sat her down and took up her helmet, tucking her hair inside before securing it to the suit. He flipped up the front visor and leant in, pressing a kiss to her lips.
"I've been thinking…"
"That's never good…"
Rose shut her mouth at the pleading tone he addressed her with, frowning at the look her gave her. She felt like the most delicate thing in the world as his hand came to rest against her cheek, his fingers almost tentative against her skin.
"You're so beautiful," he said, "So perfect."
"Have you been drinking?" asked Rose.
"Perhaps this would be easier if I had," said the Doctor, "Going to see Reinette the other day got me thinking about all the goodbyes you never got to make, one in particular. I can't give you a goodbye, not when it should have been but I can give you some closure and maybe myself some peace."
Rose gazed up at him quizzically, seeing the fear in his eyes as he spoke to her. She reached up a gloved hand to clasp the one that rested on her cheek, "Please tell me what's happening, you're frightening me."
"We're currently parked in space, by the site of where Gallifrey once was about three days after the explosion. Just ahead of us is a blue police box with someone inside who doesn't even know whether he's truly alive."
"You never got your goodbye Rose and even though I know you've accepted who I am now I know you still miss him. You gave me Reinette, let me close that part of my life. I want to do the same for you, I want you to go to him. I can't come with you because of the paradox it would create," said the Doctor, "Also, this is something you have to do alone."
"But you said…"
"What I said before doesn't matter," said the Doctor, "He needs you, he needs some light in his life. I can't remember that time but I can remember that something made me seek out my friend's aid, something made me leave the rocks and dust I'd reduced my home world to. Maybe that was you."
"But if I go to you…him now, wouldn't that create a paradox anyway? He'll meet the younger me not long after and surely he'll remember me."
"That's what this is for," said the Doctor, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a small cylinder, not larger than Rose's thumb, "Slip this into the console when you leave and it will erase all trace of you in that ship. I won't remember what happens but I will remember what I feel."
Rose took the tiny cylinder and slipped it into one of the pockets on her space suit. She looked back up at the Doctor, seeing the indecision in his face and she wondered how any man could be jealous of his own self but it was there before her. She wanted desperately to tell him that she wouldn't go, that he was to fly away and forget his offer but she couldn't. She closed her eyes for a second, seeing again the face he had worn before, his look so different to the man before her but still filling her soul with as much love as it could hold. She felt his fingers flex slightly against her cheek and opened her eyes, smiling reassuringly.
"Thank you," she murmured, "I know this must be hard for you."
"You need this," he said, "Just…"
"Just what Doctor?"
He shook his head, smiling mournfully to himself, "Its nothing."
"Tell me," said Rose, holding onto his hand as he made to pull it away. She squeaked in surprise as he pulled her into a crushing hug.
"Just promise me you'll come back to me," he said, his voice muffled at her shoulder but filled with emotion. Rose made to pull back but he held her fast as if letting her go would be the last thing he did.
"Darling," she said, hugging him back and nuzzling into his neck as best she could in her helmet, "I will always come back."
Her words seemed to satisfy him enough to pull away. Still holding her shoulders he pressed a kiss to her forehead, "Then I'll see you when you get back. The other TARDIS will look different to what you're used to but the route you need to go is the same. Head to the Cloister Room, I'll be in there but be warned, I was a mess."
"I understand," said Rose, getting to her feet but instead of heading for the doors she turned back to the centre of the TARDIS, "Just give me a second."
She ran up the stairs and along the corridor to their bedroom. Throwing open the wardrobe she rifled inside until her hand settled on what she needed, pulling it free she closed the door and returned at a more sedate pace to the control room. The Doctor looked up as he heard her boots on the grating and then frowned as he saw what she held in her hands. The frown soon turned to a grin however as he seemed to speak to himself.
"Well that could explain things."
"Explain what?" said Rose.
"I never knew where that jacket came from," said the Doctor stepping over to her and running his hand over the battered, black material, "I found it on the end of my bed the morning I decided to return to Earth to get help from my friend, I loved it instantly. Can't remember ever owning it before."
Rose gave a small smile, stilling his hand and holding it in her own gloved one, "So giving it to him won't cause any paradoxes then?"
"No, just make sure you insert the cylinder into the console when you leave otherwise things could get tricky. Now come on, you better go before I can't bring myself to part with you," he said, pressing a kiss to her lips before closing and sealing the visor of her helmet. He switched on the oxygen pack at her side and saw the visor mist slightly before clearing as it regulated. Rose clutched the jacket a little tighter to her and held out her hand for the TARDIS key the Doctor offered her. She let herself be tethered to the console, hoping she could tie off just as easily in the other TARDIS. Butterflies fluttered manically in her stomach and chest and she wanted to faint but the Doctor's hand on her back urged her onwards. He opened the TARDIS door and she saw the familiar shape staring back at her although bearing a few blast marks she knew would be cleared before her younger self met with the Doctor in the basement of Henricks.
Rose turned back to the man behind her, seeing the pensive expression he wore. She gave him her most winning smile and was pleased when he smiled back.
"I'm coming back," she said, "I love you Doctor."
"I love you too," he said, "Now go, he needs you."
Rose stepped off the threshold, having to adjust her balance and she hit the vacuum and careful not to loose her hold on the precious jacket she held. She managed the short distance to the other TARDIS, glad for the thorough if brief lessons Dana had been able to give her on space walks. She slotted the key into the door and the lock clicked free easily. The door swung inward and she stared in awe at the room before her. Gothic and majestic, the control room she knew was no where in sight, replaced by a much more Victorian and ornate room, the central hub less of a feature and more an oddity in the lounge room look of the space. She turned back to the other TARDIS, noticing the Doctor still in the doorway. He motioned her onwards and she stepped inside, glad to feel the gravity at her feet again. She hurried to the console and freed the cord that attached her to her home. She tied it securely and glanced back one more time. The Doctor had gone from the doorway but she did not blame him. She couldn't expect him to wait, pondering what would pass between his former incarnation and her.
Rose lay the leather jacket reverently on the console before peeling herself out of her space suit, grateful she had kept her jeans and t shirt on beneath, pausing only to slip the small cylinder into her jeans pocket. She caught herself fussing with her hair and stopped, she couldn't worry about appearances, that would mean she wanted him to find her beautiful and despite everything she wanted, seduction was not what her journey was for. She followed the Doctor's instructions and hurried to the Cloister Room, unnerved by the artificial candle light rather than the more streamlined lighting she knew back home. She smiled to herself as she thought of one TARDIS being home and the other not despite them being the same entity. She lay her hand on the wall and frowned as she felt the vibrations weaker than she was used to, a great sadness filling her veins and causing her to pull back quickly.
The Cloister Room door was ajar and she peered round into the gloom, only one or two lit beacons casting light in the cavernous space. Her eyes were drawn to the central altar and the figure that sat there, staring away from the door and up at the cavernous ceiling. Her breath stilled in her chest at the sight of him. The once closely cropped hair she had known was longer and unkempt, three days worth of stubble gracing his angled features. His clothes were ornate but ragged, bearing burn marks and various tares, the handsome velvet jacket he wore completely contrary to the modern attire she would come to know him in. Even from her place by the door she could see the tear tracks on his cheeks, droplets flowing unchecked as he seemed to far introverted to notice them. Her heart broke at the sight. She had thought him broken when he had finally confessed his pain after their encounter with the Dalek but this was beyond even that grief, so raw, so fresh; she wandered how he had ever recovered.
She paused, wandering how best to introduce herself and not wanting to frighten him by appearing on his ship out of no where. When no thought came to her she decided being direct was the best policy. She stepped over the threshold and took several steps towards the altar.
"Doctor?" she said tentatively.
He didn't respond, continuing to stare into the darkness of the room.
"Doctor," she said, a little louder this time. She jumped as he whirled round to face her, his blue eyes empty and haunted. He jumped to his feet, grabbing for the weapon at his side and holding it up to her.
"Who are you?" he said, his tone commanding despite his appearance, "How did you get on my ship?"
Rose held her hands up in appeasement, terrified that her life would be ended by the very man who began it, "My name's Rose," she said simply, "and I'm a friend."
"I don't know anyone called Rose," was the reply, the deep northern tones she knew to be so warm only chilling her bones and causing her to think of the Idralas' manifestations.
"You don't yet," she said, "But we know each other in the future, I've come back to help you now. I know what's happened to you, you've told me everything and I had to come back to you."
The Doctor seemed to lower the gun slightly but kept his eye trained on her, "I'd never allow that, the paradox that it could cause."
"You've thought of that too," said Rose, reaching into her pocket, surprised at her own calm. She held out the small cylinder and he reached forward tentatively, snatching it from her hand. He held it up to his eyes, examining the detail and frowning.
"Its something to make you forget," said Rose, "A bit too complicated for my ape brain."
"You're human then?" he said, still peering at the device, "Figures and this is definitely mine but I don't need any company Rose, friend or not, you can go."
He returned to his sitting place, staring back out at the room around him. Rose followed, determined that he wouldn't push her away. She took the cylinder from his hand and returned it to her pocket. She sat beside him, staring at the wall he was focused on. He didn't speak, clearly not bothered whether she was there or not and the atmosphere both comforted and disturbed her. She had expected a scene but he was eerily calm, so detached that a stranger in the TARDIS didn't seem to bother him at all. She wondered at the pain he must be going through when he cared nothing for the world around him.
They sat in silence for the longest time, neither moving or speaking. Rose tilted her head to look at him slightly, feeling her heart flutter again as she took in his features. She wanted him to smile that wonderful manic grin of his but his mouth was set in a hard thing line, his brow creased and his face marred by tear tracks. One knee was drawn up and his hand rested limply against it. Rose tentatively reached up her own hand, hovering it briefly over his to see if he'd react. He didn't even glance down. She frowned but continued, tracing one finger over the back of his hand before smoothing down her palm onto it. When he didn't resist she flexed her fingers and closed them around his own. She looked up to find him staring at her an expression on his face that wavered on terrifying. Rose went to pull her hand away, frightened that he would turn the temper she had so often seen in him on her.
His fingers held onto hers, not allowing her to pull back and she stayed without protest. His features softened somewhat and he reached up a tentative hand to brush back a few loose strands of her hair behind her ear. Rose stifled the gasp that wanted to escape her at his gentle touch. He traced her features with his fingers, as if confirming the reality of her presence. Rose wondered at the difference in him, the Doctor had always been tactile but he was never so open. She saw the wonder on his face as he traced her lips with his thumb and she didn't pull away.
"Why are you here?" he asked.
"We stumbled across…this place by accident in our travels and realised you'd be near by," said Rose, putting the history as simply as possible, "I wanted to come to you. I knew what pain you'd be in and I had to help you."
"You say we're friends." he said, "Are we close?"
Rose smiled at their entwined fingers, wandering how much to tell him of their future relationship, "You're my best friend," she said softly, "And I'm yours, we're as close as we could possibly be."
The Doctor nodded, coming to a decision inside his own head, "I must have lied to you. I can't believe someone like you could be friends with someone like me, after…"
Rose released her hand from his, not bothering to think how he'd react and put her arms about his shoulders, tugging him to her. He resisted but she was insistent and he relented, clearly not with it enough to fight her. Rose had often heard tales of shell shocked soldiers from the First World War, how anything could happen around them and they wouldn't react. She knew she was seeing something similar now. Where she had expected her passionate Doctor she had found a soul so desperately lost and it broke her heart. Without thinking she pulled his head to her shoulder and pressed a kiss to his hair, surprised at the feel of its length against her lips.
"Even after this," she murmured to him, "Even after you tell me what happened I am still your friend. You have know idea what you're going to do for me. I love you so much Doctor."
Rose had to pause as she choked on a sob, wandering how many times she had wanted to say those words to the man in her arms and now when she managed it he would forget it when she left him. She didn't check her tears as they began to flow down her face and into his hair. She felt his arms go about her waist, holding her tightly as he turned his face into her neck, a gesture so similar to how she remembered him. The one little gesture that always showed her when he was vulnerable. He had done it after their encounter with the Dalek, told her, cried with her and let her hold him, turning into her warmth and scent for comfort.
"I'm here," she said through her tears as she rocked him, "I'm here Doctor and I'm not going to leave you. I'm going to take care of you."
"You said you love me," he said, his lips brushing her skin as he spoke, "Are we lovers?"
Rose smiled against him, "Yes," she said, "Yes we are. We're in love, we have been for a long time, probably why the other you will be at home dying of jealousy."
Her smile brightened as she heard the soft huff of laughter against her neck. She tightened her arms, content with where they were and knowing that her plans for their meeting had flown from the window completely. She felt him shift his weight, changing their positions so that she was cradled against his chest. She felt the soft double heart beat beneath her cheek through the velvet of his jacket. His fingers came up into her hair and she came undone.
"I'm sorry," he whispered to her, "You shouldn't see me like this. I can't even understand love, how anyone can love me. How can I love you Rose?"
She looked up at him, "You don't, not yet," she said, finding the look in his eyes that she had always loved, the sharp intelligence softened whenever they were close as now, "But we grow, you get better. You're so different now to what I will know you to be. You grow harder, less loving at first but then you realise how much you're worth and there's not one part of you not in love with the universe."
"You make me sound like a trashy novel," said the Doctor, a semblance of the smile she had loved gracing his features. She couldn't help but smile back, the whole world vanishing around her as she lost herself in his crystal blue eyes. She tilted her face up to his further and he took the hint, taking as much comfort from her kiss and she did from his. When the Idralas had kissed her in this form it had felt wrong but now she couldn't begin to even tell the difference between the man she held in her arms and the one waiting for her. She could feel the physical differences, thinner lips to what she was used to, his stubble scratching her chin but the emotion was there, raw and uncharted in this form rather than sure and certain.
Rose pulled back from him gently, seeing the tear tracks anew on his cheeks and pushing them away, "Come with me," she said, her voice still laced with emotion. She took his hand and tugged him to his feet. He came with little resistance, so trusting where she would know him to be so suspicious. She was glad she would not be there for the day the reality of his situation would hit him, when he would harden against the world. She led him down the winding corridors, feeling the hum of the TARDIS renew as he did. She felt him pause in question as she stopped outside his bedroom door.
"I'm not taking you to bed," she said softly, turning to him and laying a hand on his chest, "I can't do that to the you I've left behind and you're not ready. Besides, our first time should be that and not become your second, whether you remember it or not."
"Then why are we here?" he asked, something akin to his cheeky façade passing over him.
"You're going to get some well earned rest," she said, "And I'm going to sit with you while you do and chase away those dreams of yours."
"How do you…"
"Who do you think spent all their nights soothing you through them?"
"A girl of barely twenty chasing away my nightmares?"
"I'm twenty-one," said Rose, "And I chase away yours because you do the same for mine. Now come on, you need to rest. You're exhausted."
He didn't protest as she led him into the dimly lit room, more ornate than she remembered it ever being. She stilled him as he made to lay down on the bed fully clothed, keeping him standing and steadying her own hands as she began to unbutton his velvet jacket, slipping it off his shoulders and letting it pool at his feet. She glanced up at his face, finding it deadly serious. She continued her work, unbuttoning his shirt and letting it join the jacket on the floor. She couldn't help but drag her fingers across his bare chest, the only other time she had seen this body being when she had helped him from Van Statten's torture.
"God you're beautiful," she said wrapping her arms around his waist and burying her face in his shoulder. She was too engrossed in the scent of him that she barely noticed him lifting her top up out of her jeans and she shuddered with surprise as cool fingers settled against the skin of her back.
"Tyler," she said, "Rose Tyler, call me Rose Tyler."
She felt his lips on her neck as he smiled against her, "Rose Tyler," he murmured, the deep resonance of his accent shooting tingles straight through her, "We need to stop this, you have to go home."
Rose pulled back and smiled up at him, seeing the gentle look on his face but the pleading also, perhaps there were some pains that could not be shared, especially when they were so fresh.
"I know," she said, "But not until you're sleeping." She released him and he got into the bed, not protesting as she settled the covers around him. Rose watched him in silence, surprised by how easily he succumbed to sleep. She stayed for several hours, chasing away his nightmares as she promised but she soon found she could not stay any longer. Bending down, she pressed a kiss to his forehead.
"Goodbye, my Doctor," she whispered.
Getting to her feet she left the room without a glance behind, the reality of the situation hitting her as she reached the control room. She slumped down against the console and cried as silently as she could into her hands. Seeing him so broken, so easily led struck pain into her very soul but he was still as beautiful as she remembered. And alive, she had to remind herself, alive and waiting for her in their home. She picked up her discarded space suit and hurried back into it. She had just reached for her helmet when she saw the discarded leather jacket still resting on the console. She smiled, picking it up in her gloved hands and holding it tightly to her. She turned back into the centre of the TARDIS and silently opened his bedroom door, glad to see him still in the midst of his slumber. She lay the jacket on the end of the bed, arranging it as neatly as possible. Unable to resist she came to his side once more and bent over him.
"I will never stop loving you," she said, "And things will get better darling, I promise."
He stirred and she hurried from the room, knowing if he woke now she would never bring herself to leave. She reached the control room and approached the console, picking up the tiny cylinder she had retrieved from her jeans pocket before clambering into her space suit. She looked around for a suitable port and a light flashed next to one the perfect size. She glanced around the ornate room and smiled.
"You just take good care of him you hear?"
She heard the beep of affirmative and inserted the small cylinder into the console. The TARDIS gave a flurry of gentle beeps and then the room grew silent once more. Rose pulled on her helmet and reattached herself to the cord. She took one last look at the gothic room before peering over the threshold into the TARDIS she knew and loved. Stepping out into the vacuum once more the weightlessness felt like a long awaited release and she floated absently for a few moments before pulling the doors she had just exited closed behind her. She crossed to her own TARDIS, the familiar beeps and vibrations greeting her but the person she expected to be waiting was absent. She closed the door and detached herself, peeling off her space suit and dumping it on the captain's chair. She noticed the note taped to the monitor and instantly recognised the handwriting.
Hope you're ok. I couldn't stay around, sorry. I don't know how you're feeling right now but if you need me I'll be in the library. If you want to be on your own I can sleep in my room tonight, just get through what you need to get through. I love you Rose Tyler.
Rose pulled the note off the monitor and folded it, placing it neatly inside her jeans pocket. She turned her feet to the centre of the TARDIS and headed down the long corridors. She paused at their bedroom door before going inside. She changed into her nightdress and looked down at the bed before her. She reached down and lifted up the pillow, taking out what was concealed there. She pulled on her dressing gown and slipped the tiny box she held into her pocket. She wandered into the bathroom before scrubbing off her make up and pinning up her hair. She regarded her reflection in the mirror and smiled.
She broke into a run as she left the room, hurrying down the corridor to the library. She threw open the door, emotion upon emotion hitting her as the heady scent of the fire burning in the hearth came to her. The Doctor sprang up from his position on the sofa, looking completely surprised to see her. Rose bit her lip in amusement as he was clearly looking for the right words to say to her. She didn't give him a chance, running across the floor and vaulting over the sofa into his arms. The impact sent him spinning and by the time he set her back on her feet they were both seeing stars. She pulled him down to her and claimed his mouth with a searing kiss, tasting both old and new on his tongue and knowing that she was happier with the complete person before her than she could ever be with anyone else.
When she released him he looked adorably ruffled and shocked and she couldn't help but giggle at him before swallowing her laughter and giving him a gentle smile, "Thank you," she whispered, "For everything."
"You came home," he said incredulously.
"Of course I did you idiot," she said, "I love you and I couldn't stay, you still had to become the man I love but I think I helped."
"I know you did," said the Doctor holding her close, "Just wish I remembered."
"I remember enough for the both of us," said Rose, taming his fly away hair, "You're so beautiful. Doctor?"
"Mmm," he said, more interested in cuddling her than her words.
"I've had time to think though and there's something I have to ask you," said Rose biting her lip in agitation, "And it's a bit unorthodox."
"That's pretty much us all over," he said, pulling back from her, "Come on then, you've got me intrigued."
Rose hand went to her pocket and she tugged out an elegant red velvet box. She opened it, revealing the plain silver band inside, thicker than a women's band. The Doctor looked down at the ring and then up to her in surprise. Rose didn't hesitate and the Doctor almost choked as she went down on bended knee before him.
"I know its domestic," she said, "And I know I shouldn't be the one asking but I love you so much Doctor and I want you to marry me."
The Doctor's expression was somewhere between laughter and tears but in the end he gave over to laughter. Rose drooped as he threw his head back in his mirth, wanting to cry as he laughed at her. She dropped her head to her chest and sniffed but quieted as she heard him do so and kneel in front of her.
"Rose," he said, "Rose look at me darling."
"No!" she said, the tears coming freely now. She heard the ruffle of material and then the click of a latch.
"Baby," he said gently, "I'm not laughing at you."
"Pretty good impression of it then," she said. She felt his fingers on her chin, lifting her face to his.
"I'm laughing about how much we think alike," he said, casting his eyes downwards. Rose followed suit and looked down at his open hand, seeing the elegant solitaire diamond ring, nestled amongst the folds of velvet.
"Oh God," she said, "You mean you…"
"You stole my moment Rose Tyler," he said, "I was gonna do the one knee thing and everything."
"Sorry," she muttered, "But does this mean…"
"Yes," said the Doctor taking the ring from its box and slipping it on her finger, "With all my heart yes."
Rose stared down as the ring glittered on her finger before taking the simple silver band from its case. She held his hand in hers, not knowing where his trembles began and hers ended. She slid the ring home, amazed at the fit.
"My Doctor," she said softly. He answered her with a kiss.
Rose stirred, snuggling deeper into the warmth of the pillows before opening her eyes. The night was still dark but she could make out the room around her. She giggled softly as she noticed her nightdress hanging precariously from the light fitting above her but chose not to pull it down. She looked down at the man sleeping soundly beside her and smiled. A movement to his right caught her attention and she looked up. She watched the thin blue light take shape and smiled up at the woman who stood beside the bed. Rose raised her hand and wiggled her ring finger in demonstration. The woman before her clapped silently before glancing down at the sleeping Doctor. She bent down over him, stroking back his flyaway hair before pressing a kiss to his forehead. She smiled warmly and then was gone in a flicker of light and smoke.
Rose shifted position, curling herself into the Doctor's arms, feeling his instinctively come about her. The coolness of his ring leaving a trail of pleasant fire over her skin. She watched his sleeping face for a few moments before shutting her eyes, another face immediately coming to view, smiling blue eyes and ridiculous ears before sleep claimed her. And as the TARDIS rested in deep space that night, surrounded by the dust of her home world something amazing began to happen outside. Delicate shards of midnight blue dust began to dance together, fusing and burning. The birth of something new and the return of something old, something that would be perfect or so she hoped.
A/N: Well its over. Hoped you all loved it. Thank you to all my reviewers, you're the reason I write.
A few more thank yous as well to the music that inspired me and the friends who helped me out big time when I got the old writer's block.
Music was important for this final chapter, play Doomsday along the bit where she's with the old Doctor and then Thank You For Loving Me by Jon Bon Jovi over the end- my inspiration anyway.
Major thanks though has to go to my friends Brendan (my bestest best buddy in the whole wide world) and Finton (who runs the pub- love that guy!) for helping me out with Southern Comfort and ideas when I've been suffering!
And for the record, I'm planning the final instalment of this trilogy so keep your eyes open for 'The Sins of the Father'.