"I love you," said Rose.

Tears were streaming down her face, and she could tell her mascara was running, but she didn't care. She knew that this was going to be the last time she would see him, and she needed to say it. She'd loved him from the word go, but in the two years they'd been travelling together, she'd never said it. Deep down she knew he knew, and she knew he loved her, but those three words were the most important she'd ever said, and more important to her than anything she'd done before; and this was Rose Tyler, she'd saved the whole world before now, not to mention potentially the universe. But those three words meant the world, almost literally.

The Doctor smiled. He knew his time was running out. He didn't have much longer. He guessed Rose would say that, she was so much like him, so he knew she'd loved him for as long as he'd loved her. Loving someone was a big deal for the Doctor. Despite being over nine hundred years old – you'd think he'd have had plenty of experience in this field, like he'd had with everything else – he was surprisingly naïve, be he knew he loved Rose, he'd never felt this passionate, this much about anyone or anything, and considering the Doctor's character, that's a big thing.

He smiled some more, "Quite right too," then his smiled dropped as he paused before:

"And I suppose, this is my last chance to say it. Rose Tyler…", and as he opened him mouth and blinked he found himself, not looking into the crying, ever beautiful, eyes of Rose, but looking at the TARDIS. He closed his eyes, and as he opened them, tears flooded from his eyes, gliding down his cheeks. The void had closed, and just before he got to tell Rose, his Rose, that he loved her… he buried his head in his hands, imagining Rose standing on Bad Wolf bay, renewed tears glistening for an eternity on her smooth cheeks. The image of her heart shattering again, her world falling apart as she fell into her mother's arms. He looked up and walked around the TARDIS console, feeling as though his world was over. He hadn't felt this much pain since Gallifrey was destroyed and he was destined to be alone for eternity. Rose had gone, and had taken part of his heart and his very being with her. He wiped the tears from his eyes suddenly realising he was burning up a sun – just for his chance to say goodbye – and even then he hadn't…

More images of how he imagined Rose right then, flooded his brain. Her collapsed in tears on the beach, sobbing with Jackie and Mickey holding her, with Pete standing there, blinking tears from his own eyes. Suddenly memories resurfaced. That time he'd asked her how long she'd stay with him, and she'd replied with a soft but determined "forever", her smile and hold after the encounter with the beast, the way her face lit up, and her loving looks she used to give him… That kiss when he absorbed the Time Vortex (the Doctor's ever working mind, making a mental note never to do that again – excruciatingly painful)… not to mention their last stolen kiss…

The Doctor woke with a start. He'd just been dreaming surely, or was he suddenly remembering the saddest afternoon he'd ever experienced because Rose's jacket was on his 'Captain's chair'?

He got up, and wondered out into the bathroom, he saw a pink toothbrush by his blue one. His stomach flipped, and he still felt terribly perplexed. Had he just not wanted to move it?

He walked into the wardrobe, to pick out his shirt and tie and saw the black dress Rose wore that time they met Charles Dickens. He touched it, took it off the rack and held it close to him. It still smelled of Rose's perfume. He didn't know what it was called, he should ask – if she was there.

"Smelling my clothes now are you?"

The Doctor span around. There stood leaning against the door in one of the Doctor's old shirts, holding a mug of coffee was Rose. His Rose. It was a dream. Thank God. He dropped the dress and ran towards her. He hugged her so tightly, and nuzzled his head into her shoulder, feeling her, smelling her, holding her. He pulled back and held her face in his hands. He had a sudden, fleeting memory of Jack doing this, telling her she was worth fighting for. Oh how right he was. The Doctor kissed her. Rose was taken a back, but within seconds relaxed into his close embrace. Being totally honest with herself, it was something she'd dreamt about, but never thought would happen.

"Rose, there is something I need to you to know, just incase," the Doctor whispered to her later.

"I know. I know what it is."

"No, I need to say this. Rose Tyler. I love you."

She kissed him.

"I love you too, and nothing will stop that."

Weeks went past. Months even. Together they tackled the universe, one alien at a time. As was her nature, Rose began to get a little but homesick. She missed Jackie, and the Doctor knew it. He took her home for a while, not realising…

Who was to know that in London, and around the world, odd things were happening. Who was to know that the Doctor's dream all those weeks ago was soon to come true.

Painfully true.