A child is merely the shadow of an adult at the worst of times.

He knew it wasn't fair.

He knew it was complicated.

He knew it'd spark so many emotional reactions, but he knew it wasn't uncalled for.

He wanted--nay, he needed an answer to his question.

"Why did you lie to me?" he repeated; slower, slightly more forceful.

Rose showed almost no emotion apart from a tilt of the head accompannied with her lips tugging sadly to the side of her mouth.

A slow, simple shake of the head was his response.

The Doctor sucked in a partially deep breath; inward and silent ofcourse.

He never took his eyes off her, almost as if he feared her dissappearing again.

"Rose, please...formalities aside for the moment. I need an answer,"

"Why?" she asked, immediate and almost forceful. It would have been had her voice not been on the brink of cracking, however. Swallowing again, she straightened up, looking at him once more with wet eyes; her gaze was clear and the tears just accented that.

The Doctor couldn't help but notice how much wisdom resided in those eyes...how much she must have felt after all she'd seen. They'd darkened, and she didn't need to be protected from the cruelness of the world. Her gaze just showed that she'd been through it all, as far as she was concerned.

"What difference would it have made?" she almost demanded "Would you-would you have stayed if I hadn't of lied?"

"You know I couldn't--"

"Exactly." a ragged, prolonged breath as her hands met to furiously swipe at her ever dampening eyes "You couldn't. So I didn't force..." she coughed slightly as she forced herself to keep it all back once more.

Oak eyes narrowed, for the first time during this conversation, at her;

"All the same, Rose Tyler; If I had a genetic offspring a...a baby!" he struggled with the word, almost spitting it out as if it where a spiked drink with an all too familiar drugged flavouring to it "If I had a baby out there, no matter just how far, I think I should have the right to know about it!"

"But all the same, what difference?" the woman antagonized as she started veering away from him ever so slightly, "Would-would you have suddenly decided "Oh well look at that, there's a very convinient loop-hole I can use to jump through!" or..." she paused to bat slightly more furiously at her tears, composing herself little by little "Or would it have just scared you off completely? Would it just have reinstated how-how impossible the situation was?"

In that instant, the Doctor could have sworn he saw a glimmer of Jackie Tyler in the mother of his apparrent offspring.

He was neutral. Equilibrium. Unemotional.

That was what his constant mask presented atleast; the usual outfit of lowered eyelids accompanied by the dressings of a slightly upturned chin. His accessories were his aged and judgemental eyes. Eyes that could spoke a million drabbles of one topic at once--he'd always thought it fair to flash atleast a spot of a naked clue...drive them wild with trying to piece it all together for themselves. Never worked. Not their fault; he just wasn't a looker...he always had to explain it...

"I..." a silent yet deep sigh

3...2...1...eyes closed, then opened so slowly, reflecting seemingly nothing "I'd have said what I always said."

"Impossible," Rose's voice, as she answered the un-asked question from her part, descended to a half-whisper ; dampened as dark internal wounds re-opened.

"I'm sorry," he sighed as he repeated the line. How stale it was becoming...but staleness could never take away how true it was.

Rose's nose wrinkled deeply as his voice brushed into her ears, if she were a lioness she'd have tried to rip his throat out already--that's what her primitive instincts informed her anyway. His emotionless voice...his outward lack of compassion for the child...it burned...it seared...it scortched...

Another sniffle and staggered breath as tears resumed their inevitable course.

It hurt.

"yeah...you always are."

"It's not my fault!" his voice was suddenly much more forceful as he sat fully upright, leaning in and shaking with un-registered emotion,

"I know..."

The contrast in her voice to how his had been shook him back down to her level immediately. How could a hurt whisper fight fairly against a hurt shout?

Truth be told; it couldn't.

"Oh Rose..."

"Don't," she gasped in through her silent sobs; gently holding back his approach of hugging her "Please,"

the pleading in her eyes was matched equally,

"Rose, please..." she could see tears of hurt pooling in his own eyes, threatening to shatter the glass of his irises and spill over at any moment "You don't know...oh how stupid, surely you must; I need to...to hold you...to just...just know you're actually here and real,"

"No..." she sobbed in a whisper; clearly and without hesitation.

He just stared,

"Not now...hurts too much," she begged,

"I...I'm sorry I don't--"

"You're too magnificent Doctor; you're-you're an entity to the world, a-a mystery of life. A star in your own right..." as she spoke a haunted smile of rememberence seemed to creep back onto her lips, tugging the corners involintarilly as per the works of a metaphorical mischevious sprite "So magnificent...so free; free-er than the wildest solar flair of the brightest sun," the smile lingered for a minute as she looked him directly in the eye "I can't bring you down to a domesticated level, never wanted to...ever..." it soon faded from her features "I love you...enough-enough to be kind, to-to be civil to a rare spirit like you...to-to know how not to get hurt by your amazing grace." And the sobs flowed out more openely, more erradicately...more Rose-ish...

He just stared, what could he say?

His love lamenting to him, but rejecting him despite herself...?

What Rose was this?...Where was the simplicity in her nature?...Where was the squeal of 'Doctor' followed by a bone-crushing hug?...

"Rose..." he choked, tears flowing freely--the ultimate sign of his trust.

She shook her head "I...I'm Sorry..."

And a wail pierced the silence as she ran.

And even admidst the familiar company of people...even admidst what could be considered over-populated civilization...

The Doctor was alone...