Title: Glimpse of Surrender
Author: JennyLD
Spoilers: Journey's End
Characters/Pairings: Rose, Jackie, 10
Prompt: Tender you'll go
Author's Note: Prompt and beta by Sinecure

Jackie whips about, calm, cold anger in her eyes. "Or maybe it's that you don't care for my Rose as much as you claim you do. Maybe you jus' needed a warm body ta keep you company until the next shiny new object came along. Like that French tart Mickey was tellin' me about." She shakes her head in obvious disgust. "Is that it then, Doctor? Is that how little my daughter means to you?"

He swallows thickly, turning toward the sea. It's not true, none of what this incredibly strong woman has said comes close to the brutal truth of why he's doing this. Why he's leaving Rose behind again with everything he thinks she needs, and nothing of what he knows she wants.

"Or is the alien git more like a human bloke than he cares to believe?"

"Mum," Rose interrupts, voice firm and unyielding, "don't."

Daring to face her, the human girl that he's loved since "run," steals his breath from his lungs, and for a split second, both of his hearts stop. The way she's slumped over, hands loose at her sides, and eyes brimming with the tears of loss, he knows he's won. There's no more fight left in her, no more of that spunk and determination that endeared her to him so much over the years.

Rose Tyler, former shop girl, once the better half of the stuff of legends, his plus one, the shiver to his shake, the girl who saved his life more than once and saved the world too many times to remember, is giving up. And though it breaks his hearts to see it, he'll let her.

Because he's nothing else if not a coward, and he'll walk away from her now, walk away from everything he's ever desired. He'll leave her here and he'll delude himself into thinking he did what was right, what was for the best for all of them. He'll travel on, alone, safe in the self-induced delusion that she's happy where she is, with a man who's him but not him, not from this point on anyway.

But somewhere, in the hidden recesses of his mind, he'll know. He'll know it all for the lie that it is, and when the darkness overwhelms him, he'll know that he, destroyer of worlds, destroyed the most important thing in his world: Rose.