A/N: Thankyou all so much for your encouragement and wonderful reviews! I hope you enjoy this final chapter!
Sadness Seen 8/8
Rose lay limp and unmoving on the bed in the crisp, clean medical room of the TARDIS.
'I've dulled the pain receptors in your body so you shouldn't feel any pain, maybe a slight tingling.'
The Doctor approached the bed, a small medical device similar in appearance to the sonic screwdriver in hand. 'Right, top to bottom I think.'
He ran the device over her head, paying extra attention to the gash, which cleansed and drew together under the soft green glow. Her eyes healed and gradually opened normally. 'Beautiful.' The Doctor breathed as he watched them. Rose smiled, her lips returned to their natural shell pink.
'Nothing anywhere else?' the Doctor put the device down and moved his fingers through her hair, checking for bumps.
'No.' Rose mouthed, her voice the barest whisper as she watched him, enthralled by the nearness of him and the feeling of his fingers in her hair. He looked down and grinned at her.
'Good.' He placed a swift but gentle kiss on her forehead, loving the sharp breath Rose drew into her lungs.
He picked up the device again and began on her neck, moving down over her shoulders, arms and chest. The green light turned mottled skin back to its natural colour as he worked. Rose could feel the tingling sensation on her back as well. The device was healing all sides of her at the same time. She decided that, without contest, this had to be the best invention of all time.
The Doctor finished with her left hand and lifted her palm to his mouth. The feeling of his lips pressed to her skin and his breath fluttering over her wrist had Rose breathing shallowly again, but from a different reason than pain. The Doctor smiled against her palm before placing her arm back on the clean blue sheet.
He walked around the bed to begin on her right hand. He lifted her hand, saw her fingers and a flash of anger entered his eyes and his jaw clenched before he pushed the emotion away and concentrated on healing her.
As he finished with each finger, knitting her bones back together he gently kissed each one and on finishing the whole hand he turned it over to repeat the kiss he'd placed in the palm of her left. But this time as his mouth was pressed against her skin he simply couldn't resist and let his tongue slip from between his lips to taste her. Mmmm new skin. Rose curled her fingers around his jaw and bit her lip as she watched him. He looked up and watched her as he went for a second taste. She grinned at him and playfully pushed him away.
He looked a little put out but cleared his throat and said 'Quite right, work to be done.'
He picked up the forgotten device once more and began to move it over her stomach, hips, legs and down over her feet. At the completion of each foot her swiftly kissed the soles of her feet and then stood back to admire his handiwork.
Placing the device back on the bed he held his hands out to her and helped her sit up, legs swinging over the side.
'Did I miss anywhere?' he held her arms out and looked her over.
'Just one spot.'
'Hmmm?' He looked back at her to find her smiling impishly at him. He grinned back. Rose wondered if she dared kiss him, after all she wasn't totally sure where they stood now. It turned out she did dare and that the dare wasn't as risky as she'd thought as the Doctor had had the same idea and met her half-way.
Rose sighed happily as the Doctor's tongue found its way into her mouth, his left hand into her hair and his right around her back as he successfully attempted to kiss and hug her as tightly as he could at the same time. Rose settled for gripping the sides of his suit.
'Is this a private party or can anyone join?' Came a voice from the doorway.
The Doctor released Rose and grinned. Nothing could bring his mood down today, or possibly for the next century, not even meddling time agents with a lousy sense of timing.
'Jack!' Rose cried in delight and jumped off the bed as the Doctor stood back watching them. She ran to him and laughed as he lifted her up and spun her around in a hug. As he put her back on her feet she saw the third member of the current TARDIS party standing in the doorway. Jack had previously been tactfully blocking her view of the medical room.
'Martha.' Rose held out her hand. 'I'm Rose.'
Martha took her hand and smiled, not quite trusting herself to speak yet.
'Can I? Do you mind?' Rose asked holding her arms out a little uncertainly, hoping Martha understood what she was too shy to say outright.
Martha nodded and received Rose's hug.
'Thank you.' Rose whispered in her ear. Martha nodded again and stepped back as Jack reclaimed Rose, grinning as he hugged her tightly once more.
'Good to have you back, honey.'
Two hours later after many hugs and quick run downs of what each had been doing the four of them stood outside the TARDIS in front of Martha's parents' house.
'Are you sure?' the Doctor asked her. 'There's plenty of room and we'd love to have you.'
Seeing the uncomfortable look of dismay on Martha's face Rose turned to Jack and taking his hand she began to pull him away. 'We'll be back in minute. Just have to check something.'
Martha watched them go a sad but grateful smile on her lips. She liked Rose, couldn't help but like her and she wasn't sure if that made things better or worse.
'Martha?' The Doctor asked, hands in his pockets.
Martha shook her head slightly.
'No.' She said quietly. 'I need this.' Then she brightened up a bit and smiled at him in false cheerfulness. 'You see I'm a doctor, or nearly, and there are people who need me.' She watched as he nodded understandingly. No, she thought, just this once it had to be the truth. 'You see I had this friend. There was a bunch of them all squeezed in together and she liked this guy, Sean. Completely adored him, she did. Talked about him all day long. But he didn't even see her. I mean, he liked her and all but that was it.' Martha took a breath. 'And I told her, over and over I told her, 'get out.' Cause while he was there she couldn't see anyone else.' Martha smiled a little at him. 'So this is me. Getting out.'
The Doctor nodded, understanding. She saw love in his eyes which she knew to be platonic, but most of all she saw pride. She saw how proud he was of her. Her eyes shone a little with tears that she forbade to fall.
'Here.' She handed him her phone. 'When that rings you'd better come, cause I'm not having you disappear.'
He nodded and grinned at her.
Rose and Jack returned from around the corner of the house where they'd apparently been admiring the greenery.
'You're off then?' Asked Jack, knowing the answer, and he enveloped her in a big hug. As he let her go Rose quickly hugged her and held her hand a moment.
'Bye Martha, we'll be seeing you?' It was half question and half statement. Martha nodded, knowing Rose understood that she needed some time and that they wouldn't be back for a bit, possibly until she rang for them, unless there was a crisis or some sort in London, which was highly likely.
Soon all three were back in the TARDIS and Martha stood in the breeze watching the beautiful yet ordinary blue box disappear. She reached into her pocket and fingered the yellow post-it note. Earlier, after they'd rescued Rose, Martha had gone back to her room to hide, cry a little and to think. After coming to a decision she'd washed her face in the little ensuite the TARDIS had given her, When she turned back to the main part of her room she found that the TARDIS had transformed one of her walls. There was a message in huge letters reaching across the wall. FIND SARAH JANE. Beneath the words there was a yellow post-it note which had the name 'Sarah Jane Smith', an address and a contact number on it. She wasn't sure who this person was, but if the TARDIS wanted her to find her then she would. Martha rubbed the wall with her hand in goodbye and wondered how she'd ever considered the marvelous ship to be just a machine.
The Doctor, Rose and Jack were soon standing near Jack's base of operations in Cardiff.
'You don't have to go, you know. You could come with us. I don't mind really.' The Doctor assured him. Having been confronted with his prejudice and Jack's presence the Doctor had been endeavoring to conquer the odd feeling he got when he saw Jack 'fact-in-time' Harkness.
Jack shook his head resolutely and grinned. 'No. I've got people to look after now. Work to be done. You two have fun. Maybe I'll come for a trip sometime later. I've got all the time in the world anyway.' He laughed a little to convince them. The truth was he'd known he couldn't travel with the Doctor and Rose ever since they'd begun the mission to rescue her, but it was seeing them in the medical room that had clinched it. Watching the two people he loved best in the universe snogging and desperately clinging to each other as though the other might suddenly disappear had driven home to him just how much they needed to be alone right now. To find out just what they meant to each other, where they stood and to even get to know each other again. They couldn't do that as easily with him in the way.
'Besides I'm sure there'll be another apocalypse or invasion soon that you'll be back for.' He reached out and hugged them both at the same time. 'I'll see you soon.' And with that he turned and ran off, eager to see his waiting friends and find out what he was certain were going to be very interesting stories of the Himalayas. In the distance he turned to look back at them and grinned as he saw the Doctor take Rose's hand and pull her into the TARDIS.
The Doctor moved around the console, happier than he'd been in a long time. Rose stood watching the time vortex drifting past the monitor. Pulling one final lever the Doctor stopped behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. She smiled and covered his hands with her own. Leaning down a little he tucked his chin over her shoulder and squeezed her in a tight hug and they both grinned and made little noises of happiness, the TARDIS singing in their minds.
A small but insistent thought entered the Doctor's mind. His smile softened a little at it and a small sigh escaped him.
'Rose.' He closed his eyes, enjoying the feel of her body in his arms.
'Hmmm?' Rose had also closed her eyes, enjoying the realness of him. Her mind was pleasantly content and delighted.
The thought prodded him a little and he mentally nodded at it. He was going to say it. He knew he was. Not because he had to or because there was some universal debt to be paid, but simply because he found that he could. And because it was very simply, utterly true.
'I love you.' His voice sounded strange to him.
Rose turned in his arms slightly and looked up at him. Her eyes showing her desperate hope that she hadn't misheard his words. She was scared that if she asked him to repeat himself it might turn out to be untrue.
'What?' She nervously bit her lip.
'I love you.' He said simply.
'Really?' Rose felt maybe she was pushing her luck now, but the Doctor rested his forehead on hers and nodded.
'I love you.'
This time she believed him and turned completely to rest her head on his shoulder, her forehead pressed against his neck. She wrapped her arms tightly around him as he shifted his grip on her.
They stood there in each other's arms for a long time while the TARDIS happily drifted through the time vortex.