A/N: Hullo. Sorry this wasn't updated yesterday. I got back from holiday really late so I decided to update this morning instead. Thanks everyone for reading, this is the last chapter. It's kind of my favourite. Sad... but happy... One of you asked if it would be angsty and to be honest I'm not sure. There is a definite slide in the beginning... but the end? Hmm... Enjoy!
Chapter Eighteen – Our Last Goodbye
Rose looked down at the hand that the Doctor had slipped into hers. She looked up into his oh-so-familiar eyes; saw the love in them as evident as if it was written across his face in bold type. She saw it, the look she'd always wanted to see but looking at it Rose realised that it wasn't as satisfying as she thought it would be. Rose thought she would love it, thought it would make her want to throw her arms around him and kiss him so hard that he would never forget it but it didn't.
Instead when she looked in his eyes, she saw her reflection in his beautiful eyes and she saw the pain in her own. He wasn't her Doctor. She slipped her hand out of his and swept away off of the beach, she was barely a couple of yards away before she broke into a run, tears streaming from her eyes and blurring her vision. So much of this echoed her recent accident and Rose remembered how she had felt before. Surely it would be easier to cope without the Doctor when she had an almost perfect replica of him? She closed her eyes in despair. 'No.' she thought simply, 'it makes it worse.'
He wasn't the Doctor, not her Doctor. The only purpose he served by being there was to be a painful reminder of what she had lost and it made the pain sear at her heart. She had thought her heart to be broken before but it was nothing compared to this. She ran faster, harder, welcoming the breathlessness and the burn in her legs. She could hear cars up ahead, had she really run that far? She heard them but ignored them. It wasn't a particularly busy road but it didn't matter to her anymore. Her Doctor had left her, again.
She ran forward and just as she felt the tarmac beneath her feet, something solid stopped her from moving forward. She recognised the Doctor's body beneath her fingers and she beat at him with her fists, desperate for him to let her go. While he held her, it was hard to remember that he wasn't her Doctor and she hated so much that she just wanted to collapse in his arms and love him as if he were the other Doctor; she knew she'd feel guilty about it. She remembered how it had felt to have his lips on hers and how it felt to have him wrapping her in his strong arms. She had felt so safe in his arms, forgetting that he wasn't her real Doctor till the moment she had heard the TARDIS disappearing behind them. At that moment, she had realised what was happening and pulled herself away, guilt flooding through her. It had been easy to deceive herself when she heard those words that she had always wanted to hear. As her Doctor knew it would be.
She felt the new Doctor lift her into his strong arms and she beat helplessly until she wore herself out and fell limp against him. Unable to do anything to help the situation, she let the tears fall from her eyes; an endless river of sorrow that poured in one last feeble attempt to wash her soul of the pain that the last few years had caused; the pain that had etched itself so deep into her heart that Rose had no doubt that it was actually broken.
Rose was vaguely aware of the sand beneath her fingers as well as the Doctor's arms around her. He had sat down on the sand with Rose in his arms and she felt his tears fall on her face. Rose's own stilled and she opened her red eyes to look up at him. He didn't notice; his eyes were tightly closed. Every tear that had fallen from Rose's face had been a shard of glass that broke his heart. Those tears had been the one indicator that he had needed to know what Rose was feeling, to know that she had rejected him as the Doctor.
He looked at her and he could see that it hurt her that he wasn't her Doctor but she didn't realise how much it hurt him. He had all the Doctor's memories. Every time the Doctor had wanted to hold her; kiss her; tell her how he felt and every time he had shied away. He had all the Doctor's regret for not doing it but he also had this new pain at the thought of never being able to. He held Rose close to him and their tears merged together on Rose's face as they sat and shed the emotion that had overcome them both: The need for each other.
Rose felt herself drift into a familiar slumber. She saw the colours swirling before her face and looked up into the beautiful brown eyes of the Doctor. Her Doctor. There were tears streaming down his pale face and Rose reached up to wipe them away but her hand passed through his face.
"No touch?" she asked looking into his eyes.
"No touch." The Doctor answered and Rose looked away, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. She looked around her safe haven, knowing that this would be the last time she saw it. The silver trees were shining and shimmering as they had every time she had seen them since her first visit.
"How?" Rose asked him, looking deep into his eyes. It was a question aimed at everything that had happened, not just how she was here.
"One last gap in the universe—" he started but was interrupted.
"Why can't you come through like you did before?" she could feel the tears welling up in her eyes again.
"Because," he hesitated but then took a deep breath and continued, "I only want you to see me. I couldn't face seeing all of them when the only face I ever want to see is yours. I was wrong. I should have told you how I felt and for that I am truly sorry." He reached out to her, as if he was going to touch her but stopped himself. "I brought you here to say goodbye." Rose's breath caught in her throat and she looked away. "He's still me you know." He told her and she looked up at him.
"You may be him, but he is not you." She slumped down on to the grass and wrapped her arms round her knees. She felt a breeze ruffle her hair. "How long have we got?" She whispered as he slid down to sit beside her.
He sighed. "I don't know. Not long enough." He smiled but it was empty of any happiness. She leant into him until she could feel the cool, tingling sensation that was the dream-him.
"Why couldn't I stay with you?" She half cried as more tears fell down her face. She was feeling very emotional at the moment and it annoyed her that she was crying again; she brushed them away angrily.
"I can't stand the thought of losing you. I—" Rose was about to interrupt again. "No, let me speak. If you died, I don't know what I'd do. One thing this whole experience has shown me is that I'm better off alone. I just ruin everything. No, Rose. I do. You're all safer without me. I'm better off alone."
"But I—" Rose stopped. "Hang on, what do you mean alone? You have Donna don't you?" The Doctor turned away from her, hiding his face. "Doctor? What did you do with Donna?"
It was at that moment that she saw something flicker in the corner of her eye. She turned her head to see the sad face of Donna watching her from beneath the next tree along. Donna climbed to her feet and moved solemnly to sit on the other side of her.
"It was killing me Rose." She said. "My human body was never meant to hold the mind of a Time lord. You of all people should be able to understand that. He removed all of his memories, all of his thoughts, wishes, dreams, nightmares, everything from my head that had been put there during the change. He had to; I was dying. But the only way it could be done without killing me was to remove all my memories of ever being with him. Donna Noble is once again the loud temp from Chiswick. Back to a hundred words a minute. The only thing that remains of the DoctorDonna is me." She looked at the Doctor who sat with his head in his hands on the other side of Rose then put her arm round Rose's shoulder. She was as solid as the ground beneath them and the trees behind them.
"The last thing the Doctor could do for me is to bring me here. This is my home now. Every memory Donna had of the Doctor and every thought of the DoctorDonna now lives here: in the TARDIS' mind. He loves you Rose. He's too much of a coward to tell you himself but I've been inside his head."
Rose looked at the Doctor and he looked up long enough for her to see the truth blazing in his eyes in a way not even the Human Doctor could comprehend. "He left you with the other Doctor because he wants you to live the life that he never could. He wants you to be happy."
The Doctor looked up. "Yes." He said and Rose looked into his eyes. She didn't notice Donna's arm withdraw from round her shoulder and didn't see her disappear completely; blown away like sand in the wind. "I want you to live that fantastic life I told you about before. Please. Just try, for me?"
"On one condition." She struggled to say. "I want you to say it."
"But you already know. It doesn't need to be said; no words could even begin to cover it and besides, he already has." He tried to get out of it, knowing what would happen if he said it. It was the same reason he had never said goodbye to his companions.
"Knowing what a book is about doesn't mean you don't want to read it." She looked deep into his large brown eyes. "I don't care if they aren't strong enough. I need to hear them from the man I love." She smiled sadly at him. "Not his body double."
"Rose Tyler," he smiled back at her. "I love you."
Rose awoke to find herself sitting in the back of a Taxi. She looked out the window, happy to let her family think that she was still asleep as they made their way to the airport where a plane waited to take them home. She thought over everything that had happened during her last conversation with her Doctor. After his confession, she had watched the unfamiliar tears sliding down his face. Rose had never known him to cry and as he smiled through the tears, he had grown brighter and brighter till he blinded her and it was all gone.
"I love you too Doctor. I love you too."
A/N: Well, that's it. Hope you enjoyed it. I can never keep people too unhappy for long. I'm hoping to give it a sequal which will be better (and easier to write) because it will be free from script. So stay tuned for that. At the moment my working title is this - Not my Doctor - Life with the Human Doctor. Ten/Rose - But it may change. Does Rose learn to love the new Doctor? Does the Doctor accept that he's a different man emotionally? How does Rose react to being given the Doctor's new fragile self? Anyway, if you've read this through to the end and haven't reviewed, now's you're chance! (As they say in those strange adverts.) Thank yo and good... morning.