Jackie bustles back into the kitchen. "Pete and Tony are off," she says. "We can go to the shops first thing this morning."
"We can? Shops? Why?"
Both women smirk at the tone of horror in his voice.
"You've got no clothes," Jackie points out. "We need to fit you out with some. Now go get dressed."
"You honestly expect me to go shopping? With you? Jackie, have you lost your mind?"
"The rude part's still there, isn't it?" Jackie asks her daughter. "Be ready to go in an hour."
"Rose, there is no way I am doing anything recreational with her," he says after Jackie leaves.
"You need clothes and stuff. Shut up and go get dressed."
She begins to clear the breakfast plates away. "Go on."
He glares at her, but he goes.
Rose smiles to herself.
Jackie meets up with Rose in the front hallway. She's buttoning up a jacket and holding her bag.
"Mum, you don't need to come." Rose doesn't know if this is because he really doesn't want Jackie to come along or if it's because SHE really doesn't want Jackie to come along.
Jackie holds up her wallet. "He's got nothing, Rose. Remember what that was like? You can't buy it all yourself. Besides, someone needs to be in charge. You two aren't exactly sharp and focused."
"What's that mean?"
"Oh, sweetheart, I've got eyes! You don't know what to make of each other but you're not stopping to think about it."
"Mum -" Whatever Rose might have said is forgotten. He is stomping down the stairs and into the hallway.
"Here I am." He's scowling and clearly unhappy. He's had a shower and tamed his hair. The suit's a bit wrinkled but presentable enough. Rose gets her coat to keep from reaching up and touching his hair.
"Lovely," Jackie says. "Let's go." She leads the way out the front door. He lets Rose go out the door first, and smiles at her, almost shyly. Rose's hearts stutters and she smiles back.
Jackie drives them in her black Lexus. It's a hand-me-down from Pete. Jackie might criticize Pete for his zeppelin handling, but Pete's seen Jackie drive, and he's not about to trust her with a new car. Rose sits beside her mother and writes out a list of what they'll need. He's in the backseat, arms folded across his chest.
His bad attitude lasts until they hit town, and then he's peering out the window, curiosity stronger than his annoyance.
"They're selling sushi on the street!" he exclaims. "Is that allowed?"
"All the rage right now," Jackie says. "Last year it was noodle bars. Remember, Rose? People lining up around the block for a bowl of water and spaghetti. Spilled it all over the streets."
"Couldn't go out at lunch time without stepping on noodles," Rose recalls. "We missed an outbreak of alien virus because it looked just like wet spaghetti. Had to close down three blocks to haz-mat it. when we finally figured it out."
The Henrik's of this world is just like the one back in the other world. There is valet parking, and Jackie hands over the keys to her car and leads the way into the store.
"I'm just going to pop over to the children's department," she says as they walk through the front door. "Tony needs a new pair of shoes."
"What happened to someone being in charge?" Rose can't help asking.
"You'll do just fine," her mother says, and then, to Rose's complete astonishment, Jackie gives her a hug in the middle of the cosmetics department before moving away.
"Your mother is barmy."
"She's what?" Did he just say barmy?
He only shakes his head. "Half human," he mutters. Looking around for the first time, he notes that this Henrik's is identical to the one where Rose worked in London, except the logo is in green instead of red, and the menswear department is on the left side of the store instead of the right.
"I didn't realize you were paying such close attention back then."
"I notice things, Rose, even when I'm on the hunt for deadly plastic men. Oooh - is that a candy department down there?"
Rose takes his hand. "We need to stay sharp and focused. Come on." She leads him to menswear, with him still glancing behind at the sweets counter.
The first clerk they encounter can't believe his eyes. "Miss Tyler?"
"Hello. Yes. My friend here needs some things."
"Oh, of course. Certainly!" Jackie and Rose are known to most of London, either personally or through the news, and while Rose occasionally goes shopping, and Jackie frequently does, they tend not to frequent the menswear departments of London's finer shops.
"And what is it you're needing, sir?"
"I dunno." He looks around vaguely and Rose feels a sudden urge to kick him in the shins. "Uh...socks?"
"I have a list," Rose says firmly. "Jeans and shirts to start. He had to come to London very suddenly," she explains, "and he didn't have time to pack."
"I'll say," he mutters.
In the end he is totally disinterested in the process. Rose has only herself to blame. She knew going into this that a man who willingly wears the same suit all the time is not a man who is interested in acquiring new clothes.
Rose picks out trousers and makes him try some on to find his correct size.
"This is what people do," she says when he complains. "They buy clothes and wear them, and when they wear out they're replaced with new clothes."
"It's ridiculous! I don't need all of these -"
"Put them on!" She throws a pair of jeans at him and pushes him into the fitting room. "You need enough to wear while you wash rest the rest."
"What? While I what?"
She could scream, absolutely scream in frustration. "You great bloody alien, humans have washing machines to wash their clothes. There's no time machine here that will wash and dry and fold your laundry and make it look brand new each time in two and a half minutes. You need extra clothes!"
He's perfectly still, holding a pile of trousers in his arms. "I know that." He disappears into a cubicle and closes the door.
Rose swears softly and goes to find him some shirts.
In the end she chooses dark trousers and jeans, t-shirts in all colors and some dress shirts. The man who always wore a suit, and is wearing one right now, declines to look at any. "I don't think I care for suits anymore."
The salesclerk, bless him, has piled socks, undershirts and a few ties by the counter without being asked to do so. He's been listening to their conversation, and he keeps shooting sympathetic glances at Rose. He already tried to assist them and has learned to stay away.
"Boxers, sir, or briefs?" he'd asked, and received an absolutely incredulous stare in return.
"I'll take care of that, thanks," Rose had said hastily.
She heads back to the cubicle. "You in there? Do the jeans fit?"
She rolls her eyes and passes a shirt over the top. "See if this fits so I knew what size to pick up."
Silence for a moment. "It fits."
"Is it too big? Too small?"
"Open the door, you bloody half human."
He opens the door and she steps inside. At first she's too annoyed with him to notice, but she finally looks up at him.
He's looking at her expectantly. "Well?" He throws his arms out. "Does it fit?"
He's wearing dark jeans and the blue t-shirt she just handed him. He looks so different that she blinks. Both the jeans and the shirt are form-fitting, and it's a shock to see him dressed so casually.
"Well? Is it okay?"
"Yeah - yeah, it's fine." She's looking not at the clothes but at him.
"It's not a suit. I'm definitely I'm done with them." He's staring at her mouth as he speaks.
"I don't mind if you never wear one again," she says breathlessly.
"So it's okay?" he asks again.
"Is what okay?"
"Hmm?" Rose has forgotten what they were talking about. They're leaning into each other, and he touches her face. Her hand goes up to hold it there a moment, and then it slides up to his hair.
"Rose," he whispers.
"Yes?" she whispers back, paying no attention to what he's saying. She pulls his head down to meet hers and he's already reaching for her. His arm bangs against the door and it shuts and he leans against it to kiss her.
Her arms go around his shoulders and his pull her against him. He's kissing her desperately, as though he'll never have another chance, and with their track record who can blame him? Rose is kissing him back just as desperately, and stops only because she can't breathe with him crushing her against the door.
They stare at each other, still locked in an embrace, both breathing hard. He doesn't blink as he looks at her. She runs her hands through his hair again and reaches up for another kiss. He groans and slips his hand under her coat and beneath her t-shirt. She's about to pull his out from his jeans when there is a knock on the door.
"Everything all right, sir?"
He's breathing so hard Rose is surprised he can respond. "Uh, yes, fine, thanks."
"Please let me know of you need anything else."
"Will...will do. Will do that."
Footsteps walk away, and they look at each other and start to laugh. Rose kisses him again, a quick one that starts innocently and ends with him against the wall as she finally gets to kiss him the way she's dreamed of for years.
"Try on the other stuff," she gasps out between kisses.
"I'll get right on that," he murmurs, and kisses her neck.
"I'll wait outside."
He pulls away from her and grins. His hair is mussed and his cheeks are flushed. She's probably not much better off. "I'll see you, then."
"Yes, you will." She taps his chest and leaves. Out in menswear she collapses on a bench in a heap. She hugs herself and smiles.
Done trying on clothes, he comes out in the blue suit. Rose blushes despite herself when she sees him, and the look he gives her is hot enough to make her wish they weren't in public.
"What do I do with this?" he asks, indicating all the clothing she's brought to him. He's left it all piled in his cubicle, messy heaps on the chair and all over the floor.
Rose shakes her head. "You are such a man. Let's put it on the counter."
The clerk happily starts folding and ringing up items, probably envisioning his commission, and Rose turns to find herself alone. He's wandering the department, checking out gadgets like tie pins and cuff links. Rose follows him to a clearance rack filled with the most unattractive things she has ever seen.
He fingers a bizarre military-style hat that surely was never in fashion. "I would like a hat like that," he murmurs.
Rose blinks in alarm, but he leaves the hat and moves on. Passing by a mannequin, he eyes it suspiciously and then turns to Rose, eyebrow quirked.
She laughs. "I think we're safe."
"Hope so. All out of anti-plastic."
A winter display of gloves and scarves grabs his attention. He stares for a moment before removing a long knitted scarf and wrapping it around his neck. The ends trail down.
Rose shakes her head.
He declares himself done and finished, good and ready to go. Rose still has shoes on her list. He sits on a chair and watches her pick out trainers and boots and even a pair of Wellingtons that he's pretty sure he will never wear. He admits his shoe size but refuses to try on even a shoelace.
Rose looks around for her mother. Jackie still hasn't returned and she's getting no cooperation from the man she's trying to dress.
"I don't need dress shoes," he is saying reasonably. "I have no plans to dress up."
"Sorry, love," Jackie says, appearing out of nowhere. She's holding a pile of packages, which the clerk takes from her and sets aside with rather appalling deference. "How are we doing?"
Rose points to where he - she reminds herself that she really needs to find something to call him - is sitting.
"What a silly scarf," Jackie says. "Why's he in the suit? Pick out something that he can wear out of the store, and I'll pay up."
Rose finds the pair of jeans and t-shirt he was wearing in the fitting room as they kissed. A different salesclerk removes the tags for her and calmly hands over a brown belt without comment. He's taken in the blue suit and reached his own conclusions about this shopping spree.
"Here," she says, walking over to him, "go change into these."
"I'm already dressed."
"Button up the attitude and put these on. They're clean and new. You can keep you shoes."
His eyes widen. "Of course I'm keeping my shoes, Rose!" He bends down and kisses her cheek before going back into the fitting room.
Rose goes off to find him a coat. When she comes back, holding a very nice brown jacket, she finds Jackie waiting by the cubicle.
"You ready, then?" Jackie is asking.
From behind the door he heaves a huge sigh. "Yes. You really don't need to be here."
"Wonderful. Tell me something I don't know. Now hand over the suit."
Rose shakes her head. "I'll go see if they're ready for your credit card yet."
"You've got lots of lovely new stuff to wear. No use keeping it, is there?"
"There's no use paying you any mind, either. Back off."
That must be the Donna part coming out. Rose smiles. Donna can hold her own against Jackie, probably more so than the Doctor.
She comes to a stop in the middle of the store. The Doctor. He - that man sulking in the fitting room - is the Doctor. She allows herself to think of him that way, and she knows that she is right.
Rose takes a deep breath. Happiness fills her, and the sensation is so unfamiliar that it takes a moment to recognize it. She would run to him, right then and there, but Jackie is there in front of her.
"Here, love." Her mother thrusts the blue suit into Rose's hands. "Go find a donation box for that. Some poor soul may find a use for it."
Rose looks at the material in her hands as Jackie walks way. She smoothes the fabric and has a sudden flash of memory. Walking to the counter, she folds the trousers and sets them down. She inspects the jacket and slips a hand into one of the inside pockets. She watches as her entire hand disappears inside without making a bulge.
"Bigger on the inside," she murmurs.
"Excuse me, Miss Tyler?" the sales clerk at the register asks.
Rose shakes her head. "Nothing. It's nothing." She buttons up the jacket, folds it neatly atop the pants.
"Your mother mentioned discarding those items. Would you like me to do that for you?"
Rose is silent for a moment. "No. No. Can I have a bag?"
He hands her a carrier bag and Rose slips the suit inside. She hangs the bag from her arm and heads back to the fitting room.
By the time Rose finds her mother again several Henrik's employees are following Jackie to the front door, each carrying several shopping bags. Jackie herself is carrying a few, and leading the parade. At the very end is the Doctor, trailing behind and looking slightly confused.
"When did she buy all of this?" he whispers to Rose.
"Just now," she says in surprise.
"Yeah, but WHEN just now? When she came to the shoe department she only had one bag! Now look at her." He gestures towards the front of the line.
"That's all the stuff we just bought you." Rose speaks slowly and clearly to be sure he understands.
"What - all of that? No way!"
"What did you think you were doing in there with all the clothing I kept bringing you?"
"I just thought you wanted me to model it all."
He stops outside the store entrance. "Rose, I don't need all of that. There's been a mistake."
"Don't be stupid." Rose gives him a push towards the car. The valet has driven it up to them and the bags are being loaded into the trunk.
"And you! Did you leave me to your mother to go shopping?"
Rose adjusts the bag she's carrying. "Never mind me. Get in."
He climbs in the back of the car, deep in thought.
Jackie tips all the men who have helped them and gets behind the wheel. "That was...well." She blows her fringe out of her eyes. "How did we do, Rose?"
"We got what we needed," Rose replies. "We should be all right for a while." She gets in the front seat. There are bags stacked on one side of the back seat, and the Doctor is on the other. In the middle is Tony's child seat.
He leans forward and addresses both of them. "All this stuff - for me. Who's paying for it?"
"Pete is," Jackie says.
"I am," Rose says at the same time.
"That's just...unacceptable. It is not acceptable."
"Oh, do you have your checkbook with you? You can pay me back, then," Jackie says.
"Now look -"
"You don't have any money," Rose says. "Do you?"
"You know very well he left me without so much as the sonic screwdriver."
"You can't wear Dad's clothes forever."
"It's not right."
"Shut up and let me do this," Jackie snaps. "Honestly, it's impossible for you to be grateful and polite, isn't it?"
"It's not impossible - "
"Button it." Jackie slams on the brakes at a red light and he's thrown forward and then back, landing among the bags.
He tries again a mile later. "Rose-"
"When you find a job you can pay us back. Stop it."
"You've saved us and the world how many times now?" Jackie asks. "The least I can do is make sure you have clothing. You're part of the family now." She meets his startled gaze in the mirror. "You are," she says firmly. "So stop sounding like a broken record."
He looks from Jackie to Rose, who's turned slightly in her seat to catch his eye. He sighs and sits back. This universe is a strange and lovely place.
Jackie drops them at the mansion and speeds off to pick Tony up at school, packages still in the car. Rose unlocks the front door. They're greeted in the hallway by the housekeeper.
"There you are, Miss Rose! I've made lunch for you. Come into the kitchen."
"You don't need to, Mrs. Colton, we're-"
"Lunch! I'm starving. Come on, Rose."
He leads the way to the kitchen and Rose hopes the housekeeper doesn't wonder how this strange man knows his way around the house.
Mrs. Colton has made soup and sandwiches and she sets plates down in front of them as she talks.
"We were so surprised to find that Mrs. Tyler had escaped those awful Cybermen after all! Imagine her being so shocked by what had happened that she left to find the baby she never told Mr. Tyler about. And Miss Rose finally coming home with her, poor lamb." She serves the food and steps back, regarding them together. "And you're Miss Rose's young man."
He looks up as he takes a large bite of sandwich. "Hmm?"
"You're all she could talk about, getting back to you after Mrs. Tyler brought her home. We're all thrilled to finally have you here."
"Thank you." He shoots a look at Rose, who is blushing furiously. "It is a beautiful story, isn't it?"
"Like a fairy tale," the housekeeper agrees, and leaves them to their lunch.
There is silence for a few moments. Rose sips her soup and tries to act like she hasn't a care in the world.
"All you could talk about?" he says finally.
"Dad planned a good cover story."
"Your name never came up."
He snorts. "Right."
"Right! You need to think of a name for yourself," she says to change the subject. "Dad's going to want to get your paperwork in order tomorrow, if not today."
"Dad likes to be thorough. If we're going to forge documents, he likes all his boxes checked."
"Lovely," he murmurs. "Here less than a day and an accessory to a crime. New record, even for me."
"You get used to it."
He looks up quickly. "Do you, Rose? Have you been breaking the law often?"
"I've done a lot of things I never thought I'd do," she says quietly. "Learning to live in this world is just one of them."
After lunch Rose takes him for a walk around the grounds. It's warmed up enough that they no longer need their jackets.
"So this is Pete's world," he remarks.
"You've seen it before." Rose hesitates and glances up at him.
"I have," he assures her. "I told you Rose - I'm still me."
"Just checking," she says after a moment. They've come to a gate in the back garden. Rose unlocks it and they step through to the rest of Pete's land, several acres of trails and flower beds.
"Come on. I'll show you around." Rose takes his hand and sets off on a path.
It's quiet and sunny and there are enough trees to muffle outside noises.
"This is quite a setup for London."
"Vitex made Dad a lot of money."
They walk in silence for a while, their hands swinging between them.
"This is a small planet," Rose says finally.
"Mmm, I know."
"Aliens come by sometimes, but we don't have the technology yet to travel beyond the moon."
"Humans won't be doing star travel for a few more years."
"Even air travel's not that great."
"I mean, there's thousands and thousands of different places to go and -"
"Rose," he interrupts her.
She stops walking and turns to face him. Gathers her courage.
"What is it?" he asks.
"You're used to traveling. Through space and time. Now you can't do either."
"I'm used to two hearts, too. I'll cope."
"I don't want you to 'cope'! Your life is gone! He stuck you on this world and disappeared in your ship!"
"Oh, Rose -"
"You're trapped here with me. There's nothing more domestic than living in my parents' house and having me pick out your clothes!"
He's watching her with his mouth open and a very puzzled expression. "What's wrong with domestic? I do domestic. How often did I take you home?" he demands. "Have tea with your mother because that's what you wanted?" He drops her hand and takes a step back. Hands on his head, he turns around in a circle, looking up at the sky. Finally he faces her again.
"In the zeppelin you said it was me that mattered to you, not the traveling. Have you changed your mind? You don't want to share your life with me."
"That's not it at all!"
"It is! I'm not him and I don't own a TARDIS so I'm just a useless bloke you're stuck with. Consolation prize."
"Don't be stupid!"
"Then why are you pointing out every awful negative thing about my being here? Mind you, you left out the part where I have no home, no money and no prospects."
"Because it needs to be said! If you're tired of me, of this, you need to tell me so I'm not hurt any more than I've already been." Her voice, begun in a shout, ends in a whisper.
"Why would I hurt you?" he exclaims. "In any way? How could I ever hurt you? How could I ever be tired of you? I'm HERE, Rose! With you!"
"You are for now. I KNOW you, Doctor. You never stay still for long. Soon you'll be...what?"
His face had been getting angrier and darker as they argued. Now he's staring at her with the goofiest, happiest grin imaginable.
"You called me Doctor."
"What else would I call you?" she demands. "Besides a bloody alien."
"You called me Doctor! You haven't done that since Norway."
"I didn't know what to say, I didn't know..." Rose can't bring herself to say that she hadn't been sure of who he was, but he knows. He knows.
"And now?" His gaze is steady on hers, his face solemn. He has one heart now, and she is holding it in her hands.
She tilts her head back to look up at him. The sunlight hits his hair and sends shadows across his face. He hasn't shaved and his eyes are impossibly old. He is so human and so alien and so handsome that it hurts her to look at him.
"You're my Doctor," she says simply.
This would be the ideal time for a kiss, perhaps a declaration of mutual affection. He laughs instead, a huge whoop of delight, and he grabs her up in a hug. She holds him tightly, legs hanging in mid-air.
She's missed this so much, the feel of him against her, his arms holding her tightly. She tries not to cry but can't stop a few tears.
She pulls away. "You're NOT a consolation prize," she says fiercely.
"Thank you." He quirks an eyebrow.
"I mean it," she insists.
"Rose." he cups her face with his hands. "It's been an eventful few days, yeah? I don't expect you to understand it all right away. I wasn't the most forthcoming...before. If you need to adjust to this me, it's-"
She kisses him, a brief kiss that shuts him up abruptly. She pulls back and smiles up at him.
He clears his throat. "Are you done adjusting?"
"Don't know. Maybe."
He kisses her this time, hands in her hair. When he lets her go they're both out of breath.
"Do you know," he asks her quietly, "how long I've wanted to do that?"
"A very, very long time," he assures her.
"Me, too." Rose takes his hand again as they start walking. "We got a second chance, didn't we?"
"Yeah. Yeah, we did." He comes to stop and puts his hands on her waist. "I'm the luckiest man on this entire planet."
"Yeah. So tell me how much you missed me over here."
"I don't think so." Rose puts her arms through his and lets him draw her close against his side. His hand on her waist is warm and solid.
"Say, on a scale of one to ten?"
"You know, just because I did domestic before doesn't mean I need to have tea with your mother every day. Or even every month. And it certainly doesn't mean that I plan to live with her."
"No," he says, very firmly.
There are a lot of things Rose never thought she'd be able to do again. She is so grateful that she gets to do this, just this, right now. This man, and just this man, is what she is thankful for.
Without a discussion, it is decided that they will stay at Jackie and Pete's one more night and go on into Torchwood together in the morning. They drive to a drugstore to buy him a razor and a comb. He spends far too long examining this world's assortment of hair care products. Rose does not make a fuss because she's happy to see him acting more like himself.
And, to be honest, she adores his hair.
On the way home they stop at her flat so she can pick up some clothes for the next day. It's a nice flat in a nice part of London, bought for her by Pete the year before Tony was born, when she decided she no longer wanted to live in the mansion. Pete and Jackie didn't like the idea of her being on her own, and the flat was their compromise.
He walks around the living room. It is clean and bright, but it does not say "Rose Tyler". He remembers her room in the TARDIS, frilly and sweet smelling, covered in clothing and pictures and souvenirs from a hundred different planets.
"This doesn't look like you," he says.
"Mum decorated. She has a cleaning service come by each week since I'm usually busy at work."
"Yeah, but where's all your STUFF?"
Rose stills. "My things were on the TARDIS. When we went to my mum's that day, I never thought I wouldn't be back."
He remembers that day of ghost hunting. He remembers walking hand in hand with her across the estate. Remembers reaching for her as she fell. He remembers how such a happy morning ended in a blank wall at Canary Wharf, destroying him.
"It's all still there," he says, avoiding that day completely.
"What, on the TARDIS? Really?"
"Rose! Of course it is. The TARDIS maintained it all. I couldn't bear the thought of... I couldn't... it's all still there."
The look of surprise on her face reminds him that he is human - HALF human - and as this man he is more open with his feelings. A good thing, judging by her expression. Had he been more open before, perhaps he wouldn't have had so much cause for regrets.
"But you've been here a long time, haven't you?" he continues. "You never picked up a bauble or two?"
"I was too busy trying to get back."
He grins at her. "And instead I end up here with you, with nothing of my own."
"Was a bit of a letdown," she concedes with a smirk.
He ignores this because he's busy looking around. "But that's not all you did, surely?" He shoves his hands into the pockets of his jeans.
"Well, I worked at Torchwood, helped save the world a few times. Wouldn't call that nothing."
"No." He sighs. The flat saddens him. He'd wanted so much for her. This is proof that she could not move on, the very opposite of what he'd imagined for her.
"It was all worth it," she says. "In the end, it was worth it."
Hands still in his pockets, he steps over to the window. "No," he says, looking out. "It wasn't worth it, because you didn't get what you wanted. You just got me." He swings around to face her. "Yeah, we're fine and happy, aren't we, but in the end I'm not what you would choose. Am I?"
Rose steps over to him. "We have to get beyond this. We can't go around and around this way."
"I don't particularly want to."
"Then why do you keep bringing it up?"
"Because I have to. Because it's in your eyes every time you look at me."
"It's hard," Rose says in what's probably the most massive understatement ever. "Everything I thought would happen, all my plans...they've changed. It's just not fair!"
"Oh, you are kidding me!" he all but yells. "Of COURSE it's bloody unfair, Rose Tyler! There's a ... ghost hanging over us. You want him, not me. You want all of time and space, not here and now. And I want you - I can't change that. I wouldn't if I could."
"I want him and time and space, not you," Rose agrees rashly. "And you may want me, but I think you want the TARDIS more. I'm not the only one who wants time and space." As soon as the words are spoken Rose wants them back, but she can no longer travel in time.
"I don't want it more. I want you. You and I are HERE. Together. But we're here because he left us here, not because we want to be. If he were here I'd kick his pompous Time Lord ass for doing this to all of us," he says viciously. Without another word he picks up a ceramic statuette from the coffee table and throws it against the wall.
"You want him. I want you and you still want him. We both want the TARDIS. He has the TARDIS and he wants you. None of us got what we wanted, did we?"
Rose stands perfectly still. If she moves she will shatter just like the statue lying on the floor in pieces. If she so much as breathes she will dissolve into nothing.
He is breathing hard. "I never thought I'd have to choose between you and my life," he says finally. "He took our choices away. Decided everything and left us to it. And Donna..." His voice breaks and he looks around for something else to throw.
Rose moves before she's aware of it, catching his hands in hers and holding them close to her chest.
"I will never forget him," she says fiercely. "I will never forget what he showed me, what he gave me. I will never forget what he gave up for me. But he was you, wasn't he? Just like when you regenerated, it was still you."
"Yeah," he says hoarsely. "Yeah."
"So you've changed a bit. So you're part human now. I've changed. I'm older. I've used guns. I've killed a few aliens."
He is silent for a moment. "I can live with that."
"Me, too. So let's accept it and move on, otherwise we'll be stuck here forever."
"He gave up everything for us."
"Then we owe it to him to go on. Have a fantastic life, day after day."
One corner of his mouth lifts up. "Do we have it in us?"
She touches his face. "Maybe we do."
"I'm sorry I broke that statue."
"Mum put it here. It was ugly. It's okay."
He rests his forehead against hers. "Rose."
He chuckles. "All that screaming, and you can still call me that?"
"It's who you are."
He gently kisses her forehead. "I believe you."
"Good." She lets his mouth find hers.
It's still not easy. But it will be.