Title: Always With You (1/1)
Author: JennyLD
Spoilers: Journey's End
Characters/Pairings: 10.2, 10/Rose
Prompt: I could stay away forever if I tried.
Author's Note: Prompt and beta by Sinecure

He shouldn't be here, just inside her doorway, watching.

Humans have a name for what he's doing: peeping. He's a peeping tom, an invader of privacy, an unwanted and uninvited observer of her while she's most vulnerable. There's no excuse for his actions, but that kind of comes with the territory of being him, now doesn't it?

A shiver runs down his spine.

He can feel something coming, not a storm this time. More a...disturbance. A change, a terrible upheaval that will affect his life as surely as his single, tenuously beating heart has.

As much as Rose has.

He's going to lose her, but, then again, the fragile grasp he's managed to hold onto so tightly--like a drowning man to a raft--has been unraveling since they first walked away from that beach together. Walked away from the only life he's ever known and the only life she's ever wanted. There was never the expectation that it'd work, that they'd somehow, despite all the odds, last.

They were never meant to be.

Staring down at her, this miracle of flesh and bone, The Doctor feels as though he's finally exactly where he's meant to be. Well, maybe not exactly; Pete's world isn't his universe after all, but the sentiment still holds true.

Because, anywhere Rose is, is home.

He wants to wake her, to touch her. Wants to hold her in his arms and finally say those words he's denied her for too long. But she's sleeping so peacefully, so deeply, and he cannot bear to disturb her.

There'll be more than enough time later.

Soundlessly, he pulls up a chair to wait, watching the morning sunlight edge over her face, giving it a familiar golden glow. Her body naturally, instinctively, shifts toward his.

He wonders if she knows.

Distantly, he hears the echo of familiar trainer-clad footsteps walking away.

Another room, a whole 'nother universe.

Their time together has sped by much faster than he ever thought possible. Running from one adventure to the next, hand in hand, never looking back.

Never dwelling on the past, or people left behind.

The Doctor worried at first, that, as the years quickly turned into decades and the decades into centuries, Rose would grow tired of their life. That her wanderlust would slowly be replaced by a desire to settle down, to have that family, that stability the other him could've given her. That one day, she'd look back and think that maybe she shouldn't have grabbed his hand again, maybe she should've stayed behind and had the fantastic human life he'd always thought she'd wanted.

He couldn't have been more wrong.

As he watches her drift off to sleep, her face relaxing with each breath she takes, he realizes just how young and foolish he once was, thinking he didn't need her. Thinking he could live his life without her in his arms, without her to see him through the bright, sunny days and the cold, moonless nights.

He couldn't have stayed away from her if he tried.