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Warning: Spoilers are afoot! If you haven't seen Journeys End, you shouldn't be reading this.

Very established 10.5/Rose (Though it's not really 'on-screen' much after this... you'll get it ^-^)

Disclaimer for the whole she-bang: It all belongs to the BBC and RTD. I only own M&C (and maybe some others, but their not important…)



In Thunder, Lightning, or Rain
Prologue

The sprinklers are going in the back yard, even though it looks like it may rain. I know they'll be going in the front too. They're on a timer, and I just haven't gotten around to learning to shut'em off prematurely.

I sacked the gardener ages ago, the housekeeper too. Didn't want to, mind. But it had to be done, there would have been questions. I tidy up and leave the lawn to the timer, hire-out when it needs cutting.

I run everything now, the mansion and Vitex and Torchwood.

It's been 25 years since we buried Mum, almost 24 since Pete -Dad- decided he couldn't live without her and passed in his sleep.

Tony, my sweet little brother, celebrated his 59th birthday not long ago. He's retiring next year, moving to Maui or someplace hot he says. I'll miss him.

My own children -we had twins, the Doctor and I- they'll turn 54 in a few months. Chris and Mickey. Different as night and day but thick as thieves, they were. We each chose one name together, but the Doctor surprised me when he chose Mickey.

(When we learned we were having twin boys he wanted to name them Fred and George. There is no Harry Potter in this universe, he said. It could be our family's little joke. Mum showed him good what she thought of him turning her grandchildren into little jokes.)

And the Doctor, he turned 88 yesterday. Or near enough, since even he didn't know how old that body was to start with.

He can't run around anymore, or fiddle with the telly to get us free movie channels. He gets winded just walking to the loo and he's got bad arthritis he takes medication for.

I glare at the world outside, my eyes still staring out the kitchen window. It's not fair.

The kettles shrill cry tears me from my musings and I shake my head, silently tell myself to get it together. That he's still with me and he's waiting for his tea.

I take a deep breath to steady my own hands before pouring a cuppa- milk and 2 imitation sugars -one for him and one for me- same as his cause he'll know if I get the real sugar. He knows he can't have the real stuff with his blood pressure so high.

I slowly make my way up the stairs to our room. He wouldn't let me move us downstairs, even if it would be easier for him. I've given up trying to change his mind.

"I brought you some tea. D'ya think you can sit up?" I smile as I come in and place the tray on the nightstand.

"Of course I can sit up," he says, and my heart lifts when he does just that. I hand him his and watch as, like always, he sighs when he tastes the sweet-n-low.

"Don't even bother beggin', you know you can't have real sugar." I take a sip of my own, to let him know he's not in it alone.

oOo

He starts falling asleep a few hours later when we're halfway into watching a special on the Lusitania, this world's Titanic.

I help ease him back down. He insists he can do it himself, but I like helping him.

My hand brushes his gray hair off his forehead and I kiss him gently. There's something in my heart, a hollow pang of anxiety that I do my best to cover over with another kiss. I know I'm going to lose him soon.

"I love you, Doctor." He smiles up at me, an echo of his youthful mad grin.

"My love. My beautiful Rose." Then he's asleep again, and I move to clean up our tea.

My reflection catches my attention as I'm turning to the door, tray in hand. I stare at it coldly, tears already building, and toss my still blonde hair over my shoulder.

My own 81st birthday is next month. And it's not fair.

oOo

Chris is just coming in from the store when I finish putting up the clean dishes. I can feel him standing in the doorway, watching me put the last tea cup in it's proper place.

"Mum," he says. I turn and smile, a little sadly. "Are you alright? Is it Dad?" His eyes get a little wide, but I shake my head.

"Your dad's fine; he's sleeping. We had some tea and watched a movie." Sometimes I feel like he's the parent. Always worried, always looking out for me, even when I tell him I can look after myself. He's even worse with his father.

"I felt…something. When I was at the check-out. Like my heart missed a beat." He seems to wait for me to explain.

"Where's your brother?" I ask instead. Chris sighs and puts the bag on the counter.

"He's up looking in on Dad." And right on que, Mickey comes walking into the kitchen and gives me a hug.

Mum used to say they were the perfect mix of the two of us. My eyes, the Doctors hair, my lips and ears. Mum'd say at least it was this Doctor and not the first otherwise the poor boys would pick up radio signals with their ears.

When they were little, the Doctor wanted to constantly dress them alike and play tricks on Tony and Mum. I usually went along with it, until they were old enough and could do it themselves; then I started putting my foot down and telling them it wasn't nice to do it all the time to their parents.

Now, looking at them sitting in my kitchen, all these years later, I want to ask them to do it again. Just once more, for their dad.

"You felt it too, didn't you, Mum?" Mickey asks me. I sit next to him and sigh. It's no use lying to these two.

"Yeah. Yeah I did." I look them both in the eyes, not sure if I'm thankful they have mine, or not. "I-"

"He doesn't have much time left, does he?" Ah, Mickey. You do take after your namesake. "It's alright, Mum, you can be straight with us."

The sobs I was trying so hard not to let out finally escape and that's all the answer they need. I cry into my children's shoulders and they cry into mine long after the sun sets.

oOo

I wake up two days later just knowing. I'm not sure how I do, but I'm not the only one. Chris and Mickey are sitting in the living room after I check on the Doctor and gently kiss him good morning, careful not to wake him.

"I thought you two were heading back to Cardiff this morning," I say to their pajama-clad selves and lack of luggage.

They both look up at me and I know then that they feel whatever it is too. I wonder if this is a Time Lord thing, cause surely Mum didn't know what was going to happen to dad back in 1987.

I swallow the lump in my throat and tell them I'm going to make some tea.

oOo

The Doctor wakes up after my second cuppa. I bring him his breakfast and the boys help him to the loo. Then we all sit together and watch telly.

Mickey tells him they're not leaving yet, they deserve a longer vacation.

I can't take my eyes away from my husband, picturing him as he was. Picturing him before he was 'born', before he regenerated, even. Remembering all the years we had together.

I excuse myself to get us more tea as the afternoon wears on. The boys and I share a look and they know to make this time alone with him count.

I make the tea on automatic. Not really concentrating on it at all; I should call Tony. But he's always up in Glasgow and wouldn't get here in time anyway. I'm crying again before the water's heated.

I let myself cry silently as I pour the water and add sugar. Real sugar. He should get the stuff he loves today.

It's when I'm at the foot of the stairs that I compose myself as best I can.

The boys are backing out of the door, saying they'll see what's keeping me. Chris turns first and I see the tears in his eyes. Mickey gives me a watery smile, tear tracks on each cheek.

"I think he knows," he tells me as I pass, and gently closes the door behind me.

He's still sitting up when I put the tray down.

"Real sugar this time, as a treat." I hold the cup out to him, amazed my hands aren't shaking, cause the rest of me seems to be.

He takes a sip, "Ahh, brilliant." He takes another one, then another and another.

"Slow down, will ya?" I almost laugh. He smiles and tries to shrug, but I can tell he's getting weaker. I take the cup back and set it on the tray; I help him lay back down.

I sit next to him on the bed, and his hand reaches out for mine. They still fit together perfectly.

"My Rose," he takes a deep breath and blinks slowly.

"My Doctor," I say back and I'm crying again. He looks up at me, and for a second I see him vibrant and beautiful. My new new Doctor as he was laying in the apple grass.

"Forever, right?" His grip tries to tighten, but he's so weak now. I can only nod, not trusting my voice. But it's not forever! I'm still here! I want to scream, but I just tighten my own grip. "Street corner, 2:00 AM. The life I could never have- until I met you. My wife, my love."

"The Doctor and Rose," I say, my voice breaking.

"The stuff of legend." He smiles, his eyes closing. "I love you."

"I love you, too," I choke out. His hand slackens and I slide to the floor, kneeling over him. "No! No, don't leave me! Doctor…" My head falls to his still chest, tears spilling unchecked, sobs racking my body. I'm vaguely aware of Chris and Mickey hurrying in, but I can't hear anything.

Our children will be 54 in 2 months, and my 81st birthday is in 4 weeks.

They don't look older then their early 20's.

And neither do I.

And it's. Not. Fair.


Title taken from MacBeth.
'When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain?' First Witch- MacBeth, act 1 scene 1.

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