Title: Issues in Time
Character/Pairing: Ten/Rose
Rating: All ages
Genre: Gen, angst, drama, romance
Spoilers: None.
Summary: The Doctor faces Rose for his dressing down, and not even the good kind, more's the pity.
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who and I make no money off of it.
A/N: It's been a long time, guys. This story is slowly winding down. I hope you're all still around when it ends. It's been a hell of a ride. :)

...

...

Uncomfortable furniture, blunt mothers, and excited younger brothers aside, the Doctor thought it was going pretty well.

Reasonably well, anyway.

It wasn't like he'd expected open arms and love from all sides. He'd just wanted to give Rose her mum back for a time. And her brother and dad. She'd told the other him how much she missed them. He hadn't really thought it through as thoroughly as he could've, but where was the fun in that?

Watching as Rose glanced around the bedroom of the home she'd lived in for six years, he wondered if he'd done the right thing. She looked a little lost, like she wasn't quite sure if she belonged here anymore.

Was it wrong that that pleased him?

She brushed her fingertips over the dresser and a few items on the surface. Makeup bottles and hairbrushes. On the mirror, there were some pictures of Rose and Mickey, arms around one another as they mugged for the camera. Just like old times. Eyes rising to hers, the Doctor felt a selfish need to touch her and keep her near.

Crossing the room, he stood behind her, enjoying the handsome pair they made in the mirror. Handsome and in flux. She was going to have a baby soon. His baby. That was still such a scary thing to him.

Meeting her eyes, he sighed at his reflection. "I'm so sorry, Rose."

"What for?" Her eyes slid down and she moved away. The words were just something to put between them; she didn't really need an answer.

"I thought you'd like it. I didn't think-"

"You never do." Her smile was instant and teasing, but there was an underlying weariness.

Feeling like he was suddenly on the verge of losing her again, he tamped down his panic.

"I really am sorry. I didn't think you'd think I was leaving you here. I didn't... think." His fingers itched to grab her, to hold her with him, to force her back to his side and back into the TARDIS. Could she possibly decide to stay?

Was there a chance he could lose her again?

He couldn't. Not ever. So, he faced the problem head on; it worked on planets with crazy dictators and moons that were wobbly. "You don't trust me."

She turned and looked him in the eye. Crossed to him. "Yes, I do, Doctor." She smoothed her hand over her belly. "I trust you completely in all things... except when it comes to you leaving me behind. That's gonna be a tough one to get past."

Feeling his heart sink and lighten at the same time, he exhaled, not sure what he could say to that.