Rose turned, to say goodbye to her Doctor once again. For the last time. And he was gone. The TARDIS took off with a familiar rushing sound. Tears blurred Rose's eyes. It just wasn't fair! After everything that she had gone through to get to him…!
A familiar hand slipped into hers. And it fit just right. She looked at him.
"Is it really you?" she asked.
He smiled his familiar crooked smile.
"New new Doctor," he replied.
She gave him a watery smile.
"Yeah, but is it really you?"
"It's me, Rose. I'm the Doctor, just… different."
"And you love me?" she asked.
"Oh Rose. I always have."
"But you couldn't tell me. The other you. You never said. You had so many chances, and you never said."
"I wouldn't allow myself to. I couldn't stay with you forever, so I tried to hide it, to bury it deep. For your own protection, and mine. Sooner or later, you would break my hearts. You did, do you know that Rose?"
"Oh Doctor!" Rose threw herself into his arms, and he held her tightly. It was just like before. His hugs were exactly the same mixture of solid comfort and controlled passion. He smiled into her eyes, and leaned down, kissing her gently.
"Alright, alright. Enough with that," Jackie cut in. "We still have to figure a way to get home from bloody Norway! Thanks a lot for stranding us here, Doctor!" she hit his arm.
"Oy!" the Doctor complained. "It wasn't me, it was him." he gestured to where the TARDIS had just been.
"Any of you got any money?" Jackie asked.
The Doctor shrugged. Rose checked her pockets before shaking her head.
"Spent it all in other universes," she explained.
Jackie gave a longsuffering sigh.
"Good thing I thought to take my wallet, isn't it? Got my credit card," she fished it out from a pocket, and waved it in Rose's face. "Let's go home, sweetheart. You too, Martian boy." She walked away determinedly.
"Oh brilliant!" The Doctor groaned. "Now she's picking up nicknames from Donna!"
"What're you going to be called now?" Rose asked, struck by the sudden thought. "You can't go around calling yourself 'Doctor' any more."
"John Smith? It's as good an alias as any. Dr. John Smith. What do you think?"
"Perfect," Rose giggled.
"Are you two coming?" Jackie demanded from half way up the beach.
It wasn't until Jackie had found them passage on a train bound for Paris that the Doctor and Rose had a chance to talk again. It had been a whirlwind of trying to get tickets, and Jackie flashing her credit cards around and acting like the wife of a millionaire, an act which the Doctor found extremely amusing. They settled down in the compartment while Jackie went off to see about accommodations once they reached Paris. She was hoping to get them a zeppelin to London.
The Doctor leaned back on the plush red bench, and stretched out his long legs. Rose curled up beside him and rested her head on his shoulder.
"I can't believe this," she said.
"Me neither. Almost a thousand years travelling the galaxy and now I've only got one heart and one life," the Doctor said.
"No, I mean you here with me."
"I can hardly believe that myself," he said, leaning down to kiss her hair.
Rose smoothed the lapel of his jacket, that had gotten ruffled when she had grabbed them to kiss him.
"The other one wore brown," she said, almost to herself.
"What?" the Doctor asked.
"The other you. He wore a brown suit. When you were with me, you wore a blue one."
"Yeah. After you were gone, I put on the brown pinstripe one. It reminded me less of you. Too bad about the coat though. I loved that coat." He sounded mournful.
"We'll find you another one," Rose promised. She sighed. "What are we going to do now?"
"Well, for starters, we could get married. Then, we would have to find a house. Me, with a house! And it will have to have carpets and a mortgage and everything, but that's ok, cuz we'd be together, and I could get a job, and…"
"Doctor!" Rose interrupted.
He shut his mouth at her exclamation.
"Did you just say 'get married'?" she asked, sitting up.
His grin grew huge.
"Why yes, Rose Tyler, I did. Forever, you promised me that once. Now I can promise it to you. A forever together, just me and you. What do you say?"
"Does it need to be said?" she teased.
"That is not fair!" he complained, pouting.
"Yes, you daft dolt. I want nothing more in the world than to marry you."
The Doctor pulled her to him and kissed her. The passion and longing in that kiss took Rose's breath away.
"I was hoping you'd say that," he said. He rummaged in a pocket of his jacket, and tipped a small object into Rose's hand. "This is for you. The other me had it. Carried it around with me at all times. I was going to give it to you before you got stuck in this world, but then you got stuck, and it became like a token of you that I carried around with me. He gave it to me, right before I left. He knew that I would be needing it."
Rose looked at the object. It was a ring. A gold band with a sparkling clear stone. All around the band were twisting, curving Gallifreyan letters.
"It's a moon diamond from the planet Raven. Made when the moon rocks are compressed by the heavy atmosphere it has once in a thousand years."
"It's beautiful!" Rose breathed.
The Doctor took it out of her hand and slipped it on her ring finger.
"Mine forever," he said softly.
"You carried it around with you when I was gone?" she asked.
He shifted uncomfortably.
"I wasn't going to propose to you. I was just going to give it to you. To signify what we had was deeper than just companion and Time Lord. And… rings are important to humans. They're symbolic. This ring meant 'I love you', when I couldn't say it."
Rose traced the symbols on the band.
"What do they mean?" she asked.
He smiled softly.
"It says 'Forever'. And that's my promise to you."
Suddenly Rose giggled.
"What?" the Doctor asked.
Rose was now giggling helplessly.
"That's humans for you! You say something deep and meaningful and they just laugh at you!"
Rose chose not to remind the Doctor that he was half human now as well.
"It's just that… I always used to imagine being married to Mickey and being Mrs. Smith. Now I'm going to be Mrs. Smith after all!"
The Doctor joined in her laughter.
Author's Note: OH. MY. GOODNESS. The Finale. There are no words. It was… and then… and OH! Everything! The Sortof!regeneration and the two Doctors, and Sarah Jane and Martha and Mickey obviously going to join Torchwood, and Rose. ROSE!
I hope I was not the only Rose/Ten shipper screaming and squeeing as loudly as I could when they finally – finally – kissed. But I couldn't help thinking, what happens to Rose and the human Doctor now? How will they live together? So I started this. I hope to continue Rose and the Doctor's life together on the alternate world. I mean, if she can't be with the Time Lord Doctor, this is the next best thing, right?
So that's why I started this story. I know every Rose/Ten shipper from here to Timbuktu is going to be writing one of these. They'll be more common than reunion stories, I predict. So, I want to throw my hat in the ring early, and see if I can be original, before the flood of them comes in.
But oh man. My heart broke for the Time Lord Doctor, all alone. And Donna…! How could they do that?! It was so, so sad! I love Donna! She was so brilliant! Donna Noble, supertemp.
Ok, rant over.
By the by, I want my very own Doctor to keep, like Rose got… ;-)