Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who.
Rating: All Ages
A/N: Thanks to JennyLD--my co-contributor to the Glimpses series--for beta-ing and encouragement. My prompt for this one is the summary.
Bruised and broken, Rose turned from the white wall and faced her new family. Swallowing her sobs, she pulled her jumper sleeves over her hands and left the room behind with one last sobbing breath.
Her new life took shape out of the mold of the previous one, and was fine-tuned by the memories of an alien with a pinstriped suit and a penchant for saving the universe. Through the pain, rather than past it, she learned to breathe again.
Rose stared at the white wall that'd ended her life and began it in a way that she'd never asked for, never wanted. With a final, tight smile, she pressed the button and was swallowed up in darkness. Light flashed behind her eyes, noises rushed to her ears, smells assaulted her nose. With the wall behind her, she dropped to her knees, gasping for breath.
Outside in the bright sunshine, she shook with chills as a blue box materialized a dozen yards away, amid the crowded street. Familiar brown hair and pinstripes appeared and her heart pounded as his eyes scanned the crowd, hand scratching at the back of his head. He passed right over her for a split second and then came back again.
She ran straight into his arms, smiling when they tightened around her so hard she had to gasp for breath. She loved every moment of it. And, unwilling to pretend anymore, unwilling to go back to dancing around her feelings and his uncertainty, she kissed him.
As soon as she began to pull away, his hand--threaded in her hair--moved to the back of her head and held her still for his mouth to open on hers. His lips moved feverishly, desperately, and left her gasping for breath.
His other hand gently drew hers from his hair and placed it on his chest, between his hearts, which were beating quickly, rapidly under her fingertips. She broke the kiss and rested her forehead against his, panting hard, chest tight.
His eyes stared into hers. "How long?" he asked and his voice sounded pained.
Rose shook her head. "Doesn't matter."
But it did to him, she could tell just by looking into his eyes. "Rose..."
"It doesn't matter," she insisted, trying not to let the years show in her eyes or on her face. Thinking of her long-dead mum and her sixty-year-old brother, she blinked at the bright sunshine and returned her gaze to his. "Too long."