How Long Is Forever?

Fandom: Doctor Who… some Torchwood

Pairing: 10/Rose, mentions of 10.5/Rose and 10/River (both of which in the past)

Rated: T (might go up in the course of the story- not completely sure about it, anyway)

Warnings: unbeta-ed

Full Summary: 'Tragedy will bring the Big Bad Wolf back under the Eye of the Storm'He's heard those words quite often, his own TARDIS repeating them again and again in the back of his mind. But she was happy and safe, they both were- in Pete's world! So, how come, when Jack calls him to Cardiff because of some Rift activity, he finds her standing infront of him with anguish in her brown eyes, grabbing his hand to run again.

Spoilers: This is a post Journey's End Reunion fic, so there are spoilers up until there.

Chapter 1: Glimpses

He had done it.

Not so long ago he had sent Professor River Song to her execution. He had given her that sonic screwdriver he had made especially for the occasion as they shared one last picnic infront of the Singing Towers, and had whispered his name into her ears. He hadn't felt anything by it, contrary to River's suggestions when he first met her. He hadn't wanted to tell her his name, but knew that he had to- in order to save those 4022 people in the Library. In order to kill the woman he loved.

Because he had. Loved her. Albeit as a sister. Everything else was just pretend. Every loving glance, every passionate whisper, every kiss had been a lie. That made quite a long list of lies, because every caress, every declaration of love, every ounce of his hearts belonged to someone else. All this time he had spent with River, he had seen someone else. Imagined someone else. Wished her to be his someone. Wanted her to be a person, she never even met, and he barely ever talked about.

She had deserved better!

River was such a sweet woman, and if the circumstances had been any different, maybe he would've fallen for her. Unfortunately for River, his hearts already belonged to another woman. And unfortunately for him, he still had no choice but to lie about it. At the beginning of their relationship, he had been reluctant to give in to how things were supposed to go, going as far as to distance himself from his companion, being cold and hard. This had led to River- oh, that brilliant woman- asking about who the ghost was that didn't seem to leave him, that just continued haunting him even across time and space. He had smiled a bitter, a sad little smile, but hadn't answered- except for in his thoughts.

'You want to know who you're up against?' he remembered to have thought at receiving the question. 'When you first signed up, I told you what I tell every companion sooner or later: That I could save the world, but lose you. Because between you and a planet, I'd chose the planet. Always. But if it was her or a planet, a system even, I don't know what I'd choose, and that terrifies me. What you're up against, River? My Everything…And I can never see her again!'

Well, that wasn't strictly true. He got glimpses of her life with his Human Self sometimes. Especially when he was close to a rift in the fabric of time and space. His telepathic connection with his twin just seemed to flare whenever that was the case. Or when the Other Him wanted him to know something, wanted to show her that she was happy. Safe. Happy and safe in the other universe, far, far away from him and the trouble that seemed to constantly follow him.

He had known when they first talked about their relationship.

"I understand that this is difficult for you, and I want you to know that I'll always be here. I'll wait," his clone said in a solemn voice, yet so gentle as if he was taking to a scared child. He had taken her hands in his, too, to reassure her that he wasn't going anywhere. "I'll wait a lifetime if necessary for you to-"


"No?" the Other Him asked almost desperate at the sign of rejection.

"I don't want to repeat past mistakes. We've waited so long, me and him, not saying anything. I don't want that again."

They had settled into a comfortable relationship shortly afterwards, although they had still some things to adjust to here and there.

A year later, they had married.

Rose was stunning as she walked down the aisle, her creamy wedding dress hugging her curve elegantly. Her hair, which went passed her shoulders now and wasn't bleached anymore, had been pinned up beautifully, leaving a few soft brownish curls to frame her smiling face. A small bouquet of lilac and white flowers was pressed into her hands nervously as her not-quite-father led her towards her future husband- who had actually adorned himself with a smoking, and could hardly stand still on his feet. He was shifting so much, you got the impression that all he wanted was to run up to his beloved.

If not for Jackie Tylers death glare.

Beside him stood that universe's version of Jack as their best man. Behind him, Jake was blushing at being so exposed in his best suit. On the other side Martha and Sarah-Jane could be seen, wearing pretty lilac dresses, each holding a bouquet of their own. Apparently, the pair had gathered up all their friends from their original universe, if they couldn't get the 'real' ones, and probably were quite good friends with those, too.

The vows were exchanged, as were the rings. Everyone waited with baited breath as the couple came together in a sweet, sweet kiss. Then, the whole church broke out in applause, while 'John Smith' tucked his new wife's head underneath his chin, and hugged her to him fiercely.

The sight made him happy for them, and jealous of them all in one.

The Doctor was also there when they moved into their first flat.

"Don't get me wrong, your mother is being very nice indeed- I can't believe I just said that… Ouch!" the Other Him yelped when hit on the arm playfully by his new wife. "But I think, it's time for us to stand on our own two feet- well, four feet."

He'd laughed at that.

The most powerful spike of his telepathic connection to his twin reached him far away from any rift, a strong wave of excitement and happiness washing over and through him. Baffled, the Doctor found out that he was going to be a father once more. Well, the Other Him mostly, of course, but technically the child was sort of his, too. River had been very surprised to find him dancing along the halls of his ship, and he'd continued to be chippery all week, and well into the next few months.

Until the second most powerful flare hit him, this time full of grief and loss. Immediately, the Time Lord realized what must've happened. He had expected it to happen, but had pushed the thought at the back of his mind. But of course, the universe- any universe- would be cruel to him, bestowing his beloved with a miscarriage when she wasn't even into the third month of her pregnancy. Rose had been just too human, had 'given' the child too many human genes to take a- even partially- Time Lord mind. The little body couldn't handle it, and nature had taken it's course.

Afterwards, John and Rose had agreed not to have any children. Instead, they tried to save everyone else by doing their job at Torchwood. And slowly, very slowly they conquered some of their happiness back.

Having a grave to visit, seemed to help a bit.

He held his wife tightly as soon as she came up from her crouched position. She had been changing the flowers on the small grave, they had insisted on giving their unborn child. They didn't even have a body to burry, but it was the symbolic meaning that counted to them, anyway. They visited once a month at first, standing infront of the polished tablet with Rose muttering, crying her apologies over and over again as John held her. Now, almost two years later, she didn't cry anymore, but their routine was barely ever broken, unless Torchwood needed them very urgently. Most people at work didn't quite understand the necessity of their pilgrimage to their unborn child's grave, especially since the part-alien kid had not even had a gender, let alone a name yet. But it was an accepted 'obsession' of theirs, and nobody asked any questions, or demanded it stop. Their friends even came to visit with them once a year, expressing their condolences.

The Doctor looked at the gravestone throuch his twin's eyes.

Beloved Child

The Doctor

Who never had the chance to be brilliant

And he smiled a rueful smile.

Lately, there hadn't been as much glimpses as there used to be at the beginning, but he was sure she was happy.

Happy and safe.

Happy and safe with his twin.

So why was she standing here, right infront of him with pain, and loss, and heartbreak, and not least of all, panic in her eyes, pregnant, and grabbing his hand that still fit her's so perfectly, saying one word.

Just one word:


End of chapter 1!

A/N: Being a 10/Rose shipper, I haven't really been happy with the ending the writers of the Doctor Who series invented for season four. So, I imagined my own story, where Rose comes back to the Doctor once more.

But whom is she running from? What happened to the other Doctor? And can her and her original Doctor overcome those problems to find their paths together?