They Will Be There

by Charming Slayer

It was an accident, a twist in the flow of time that the TARDIS was there at that moment or perhaps it was planned long before Rose Tyler would ever be able to comprehend. She was just returning from a grocery run, on her way back to the TARDIS in the year 2013 in London on the planet Earth and she stepped into the wrong TARDIS. Looking around in confusion Rose took in the control room which was a darker than she remembered. Frowning she set down the bags and placed a hand on the controls, noting the worn condition of them. A throat was cleared behind her and she turned to see a man dressed in a dark jumper and jeans leaning against the doorframe leading to the TARDIS halls. He had light brown hair and soft brown eyes that Rose felt were strangely familiar. The man did not seem surprised to see her and was not confused by her confusion, rather he looked like he was struggling with many other emotions at the moment.

"It's okay... Rose." She blinked in greater confusion as he said her name. "You're in the wrong TARDIS, you turned left instead of right on the road." He held out a hand for her to take. "I'm Alistair, I'm glad you're here."

"Where's the Doctor?" A flash of pain crossed the man's face and she could see him blink away tears as he tried to regain control.

"I'll explain, please come with me."

Slowly Rose gave him her hand and let him silently lead her deeper into the TARDIS. She listened to his labored breathing as he kept his face turned away from hers.

"Who are you?"

He stopped and turned to her, drinking in the sight of her face. "I'm your son." He paused giving her a moment, "The son of you and the Doctor." He stopped, trying to compose himself. "You passed away years ago at this point in the Doctor's time line." Alistair breathed again to reign his emotions in and opened his mouth to speak only to have Rose place a finger on his lips seeming to understand.

"Where is he?"

Nodding in understanding Alistair took the hand of the woman who would be his mother again and lead her to the Doctor's room. He pushed open the door and Rose bit her lip to hold back a gasp. On the large bed lay a frail old figure, his eyes closed in exhaustion. She covered her mouth, reminding herself to breath as she took a small step forward. Alistair remained by the door, watching as Rose moved to the Doctor's side. Sitting on the edge of the bed Rose managed a smile as the Doctor's eyes opened. A spark of life and happiness filled them as he stared up at her.

"Rose?" She nodded, unable to hold back her tears, "My Rose." The Doctor lifted his frail hand to her face, cupping her cheek softly. "You're here." She nodded, unable to think of anything to say. The Doctor understood and smiled. "Final death, I've used up all my regenerations." He smiled softly, "All things die and now it is my turn. Alistair is young, our boy is still only on his first regeneration tends to be more cautious than I ever was. It will be him and the TARDIS from now on." The Doctor stopped and rubbed his thumb over Rose's face as he took in the sight of her. "Thank you Rose."

"For what Doctor?" He smiled at the innocence in her face.

"For building a life with me. The years I had you beside me were fantastic." The Doctor chuckled, "Finally have the right teeth again for that word again." Rose chuckled, tears freely running down her cheeks. "None of that Rose Tyler."

The Doctor looked over at Alistair, weakly motioning for his son to join them. Alistair moved to the other side of the bed, taking his father's free hand. "None of that from either of you. I've had a good life and right now as I leave it I have my son and my wife with me." He smiled lovingly at them both. "I love you my son." Alistair nodded squeezing his father's hand. The Doctor turned his head to Rose, "And I love you Rose Tyler, so very much."

"I love you Doctor." Rose whispered in reply, kissing the knuckles of his hand.

"I love you Dad." Alistair answered softly causing the Doctor to smile.

"Fantastic... brilliant." The TARDIS went completely silent for a moment as the Doctor exhaled softly and closed his eyes. Rose stared at him for a long moment before she finally wrapped her mind around the fact that he was no longer breathing. Raising her eyes to Alistair she gasped painfully when he nodded. Her future son joined her on the other side of the bed, holding her as she cried for her Doctor.

It was an hour later when she mustered up the courage and strength to return to her own TARDIS. Alistair handed her the bags and opened the door for her. As she turned to leave her future son stopped her with a hand on her arm.

"Mum..." He trailed off for a moment, "Thank you for being there for him."

Rose bit her lip and nodded, "I know he'll be there for me."

And sixty-seven years and eight months in her future Rose Tyler was proven to be right. Her husband had regenerated by then into his eleventh form by then, a slightly older man with ginger hair and bright green eyes. On that day however his eyes were dull and he had given up on controlling his tears as he held the hand on his aged frail wife. Rose Tyler smiled at him, a warmth and calm radiating from her as her son Alistair took her other hand.

"Oh my darlings." She sighed happily and softly, "I love you both, I love you two so much."

"Rose..." The Doctor trailed off, unable to think of the right words as he faced letting her go. She smiled at him, letting her tongue slip between her teeth. A mannerism she had never completely lost.

"Thank you Doctor." He blinked in surprise at her words. "Thank you for letting me build a life with you." He forced a smile and nodded.

"Thank you for your forever Rose." He tightened his grip on her hand, hoping still that he wouldn't have to let her go. She smiled at their son who kissed her forehead tenderly.

"Look after your father for a bit longer Alistair. He's not a careful or clever as you." Alistair and the Doctor chuckled at her words. "I love you son."

"I love you Mum." Alistair said firmly. "I love you so much." Rose squeezed his hand and looked back to her husband.

"I love you Doctor, so so much." He nodded and brushed a kiss across her lips.

"I love you Rose Tyler." Rose nodded and smiled.

"I'll see you again Doctor. I'll be there for you just as you've been there for me." She smiled as widely as she could manage as breathing became more difficult. "I love you, forever." Then the eyes of Rose Marion Tyler slid shut and her husband joined their son in crying, comforted only by the promise of one more meeting, when she would be there for him on the day he let the universe go.