Not a reunion fic, but allows for the possibility. If it leaves you with just a bit of hope, I have done my job (which means I can sleep!)


It was the whisper that woke her. Heart racing, Rose Tyler sat up in bed, covers in utter disarray around her body. She'd imagined his voice so many times since they'd been forced apart, calling her as he had before from beyond the white barrier. Now she strained to hear it, finding only silence. Lying back with a desperate flop, Rose felt the familiar tears tracing down her face but did nothing to stop them. It must have been a dream. A vision torturing her with the sound of the man she loved.

The Doctor. The alien known only by a title consumed her every moment with a longing so terrible she could barely breathe. Hadn't she sworn to never leave him? Hadn't she vowed that nothing would separate them? This existence she now pretended to live on a parallel Earth was infinitely hollow, a shell of the exciting life she'd found on the Tardis with him. And knowing he was alone, the one thing he seemed unable to bear, made her heart ache that much more. Who would hold his hand? Who would bring him back down to reality when his musings took him too far?

Trying to sleep again was an exercise in fruitlessness. Instead, she conjured him up in her mind's eye, replaying every conversation from the diner confrontation about Sarah Jane to their musing about mortgages on the sanctuary station. She then recounted all the times he'd held her. That he liked to do it pleased her to no end because in his arms she'd felt a sense of belonging she'd never known before. It was at those times that his massive intellect and emotions were solely focused on her, a treasure beyond telling. And she took it all for granted. Well, she sniffed, at least she'd told him that she loved him. He needed to know and she liked to think he would have reciprocated had there been more time. Odd thing, really, for a Time Lord to run out of time.

So enraptured in memories, she nearly missed it when the whisper returned.

"Rose." Fully awake as she was, there was no doubt this time. And a very audible hope surfaced.

"Doctor?" Her yell was sure to wake everyone else, but she cared not.

Jumping from bed, Rose ran through Pete Tyler's house, seeking the Doctor in every room. Jackie sprang from her doorway and into Rose's path but was given no heed. Her daughter bowled through her and would have resumed her harried search had Pete not grasped her shoulders.

"Just a dream, Rose. He's not here."

Angrily shrugging him off, Rose forced her way past her parents. "I heard him. Like before."


Spinning back to the eyes watching her, Rose shouted "Don't you hear that?" She demanded, but was greeted with shaking heads.

Mickey appeared in the hall, rubbing sleepy eyes. "What's goin' on?"

Rose brushed past him, heading to the back door. "He's calling me. He's coming."

Mickey didn't need to inquire who. He'd long since accepted the loss of his Rose to the Doctor and he wasn't about to stand in the way.

"Okay then. Let's find him." Rose turned grateful eyes to him before continuing on her intended path. "Hopefully not in Norway this time." He muttered to no one.

Shrugging at her parents, Mickey fell in step behind her as she rushed to the back porch. He had to stop short to avoid crashing to Rose because she stood just beyond the door, still as stone and he followed her eyes to a barely perceptible hologram. Mickey backed up into the house and closed the screen door. Rose didn't need him now.

The Doctor's image, grainy and flickering, waited for Rose on the terrace. She could hardly walk for the shaking that overtook her limbs as she made her way to him. God, he looked so very tired, but he was here. Sort of. Her hand reached out for him, needing the contact that she suddenly realized wouldn't happen.

Her lip quivered as she spoke. "Can't touch you, can I?"

The Doctor shook his head sadly. "Still just an image. Barely that. Not enough power."

"But you found me," She struggled to push her voice past the tears. "Where are you?"

The projection faded to nothing before coming back. And with it, a sense of urgency in his voice. "The power's draining, Rose, so you need to listen to me. There's a time window. With some work, I might be able to get through it."

"Then why aren't you here already?" Her petulant nature cried.

"It's not open yet. I'm not sure when…"

"I'll wait," a newfound maturity roared past the childish demands of her heart. "I'll wait for you. I promised you forever, didn't I?" She stepped closer, catching the solemn cast in his eyes and hating the gravity that seemed to surround him. "Just don't make me wait, yeah?"

He smiled softly before his features resumed their seriousness. "I might be… different. Again." It was almost an apology.

Momentary confusion made way for understanding. Regeneration. But for that to happen, he'd have to…

"This could kill you." It wasn't a question and her breathing stopped at the thought. The last regeneration had been so hard. "It's that dangerous?"

"I never really die, Rose. That's long been my problem."

The bitter tone was foreign to her ears and she refused to let it linger. "One I thank God for. Just don't be a woman, okay?"

His image had no reaction as he vanished for a moment, returning again even less clear.

"Are you sure you want me to come through?"

And the immediate fury that question awakened snapped her spine into ramrod straight position. "How could you ever think I wouldn't?" The initial shock was tempered by the doubt shadowing his face, a rarity for this supremely confident man. Didn't he understand? "I'd give anything to be with you. In any universe."

Where her tone was roaring with her emotions, his was painfully quiet. "You have a life here now. To tear you away from it again…"

"I have no life without you. And you conveniently forget something here. I love you." Rather than the exuberant smile she was so accustomed to, he looked away at her words. She forced her words into calm measure. "Either you don't believe it or you don't return it."

That brought his eyes back to hers, a fire finally lighting them. "D'ya think I'd go through all this if I didn't, Rose Tyler?" The sentiment, spoken in his characteristically animated voice, lifted her spirits. "I'll likely destroy the Tardis and get stuck on one planet forever, unheard of in Time Lord history and you…"

"There's the Doctor I know." She grinned at his outburst and he looked down, slightly shamed before smiling a bit himself.

"Then you know. Don't you?" His eyes pleaded with her to understand him and she did indeed. He couldn't say it. But it was there, in everything he ever did for her. And it was there now.

"I know," she whispered her assurance just before the projection flickered off again. Only this time, he did not return. But in the darkness of a cold night, his voice came to her ears one more time.

"Wait for me."

"Forever!" She shouted to the empty sky, trusting he'd heard it somehow. She couldn't put miracles past him.