Author's Note: Because seeing the Sonic Screwdriver drop, and not be picked up, was just too sad.
After all the vans had cleared away, after the crowds had dissipated, after she had met Donna Noble for the first time (but not really), Rose went back. Back to the spot where the sheet-covered stretcher had stood, covering the body of the most wonderful man in this or any universe. She scanned the ground, hoping that it would still be there. She caught sight of it and breathed a sigh of relief. What she had come back for was still there, by some miracle. All the traffic, all the people, and it was still there. Scooping it up swiftly, she hugged it to her chest, trying to stifle the tears welling up. Gently, she caressed its familiar contours, its pitted surface, as if the essence of the man who had been so recently holding it had sunk into it, and by running her hands along it she could somehow gather it up and bring him back to her.
"This isn't the way it's supposed to be," she said to herself softly. "This whole world, it's just wrong. I can feel it."
She ran her hands over the sonic screwdriver, her fingers taking in everything. She caressed the buttons, the dome at the top, the pointed end opposite.
"Oh, I miss you," she whispered. "I miss you every day, every moment. With every breath. And I tried to get back to you. I tried. But then… this happened. I need to get back to you, Doctor. Oh Doctor…" she hid her head in her hands, and let the tears fall, clutching the long screwdriver tightly to her.
It took Rose a few moments to compose herself after her bout of tears. She sniffled, then pulled a handkerchief out of her pocket and wiped her tears away. Then, she laughed shakily.
"You always said to carry a handkerchief at all times, didn't you Doctor? Said it could come in handy no matter where you were. You were right, as usual."
She pulled out a chain on her neck and began fiddling with it, twisting it around her fingers. A sudden thought came to her.
"Hmmm… I wonder."
She pulled the chain out fully from her shirt, revealing an ordinary-looking key. It was made of metal, with a round top. A perfectly ordinary key. She touched the end of the round end of the sonic screwdriver to the key, and pressed a button on the side. The rounded end glowed blue, and there was a buzzing sound.
Rose held her breath.
For a moment, nothing.
Then, the key began to glow, weakly at first, but gaining strength.
"Yes!! Yes, yes, yes!!" Rose jumped up and down in delight, grinning. "The TARDIS is still here! And still alive! You didn't leave me all alone, Doctor!" Rose enthusiastically kissed the pen-like object in her hand. She stroked the familiar pitted surface one more time, before stowing it in the pocket of her leather jacket.
"I will find the TARDIS. I will help Donna make things right. I'll find you, Doctor, and we can be together again, finally! I promised you forever, and I meant it!" Rose exclaimed.
She slung the chain ofover her head, and held it out. She turned in several directions, scrutinizing the key carefully. She stopped suddenly when the key glowed brighter. With a smile, she began to walk in that direction. Towards the Themes, she noted.
"Show me the way," she said.