It is time to face the truth; I'll never be with you
Rose sat on a stone on Bad Wolf Bay staring at the spot where the TARDIS had dematerialized, trying to decipher the feelings racing through her. She had sent the Copy Doctor with her mum to find a phone to call Pete. She needed time to process what had just happened. As much as her heart rejoiced to have a Doctor of her own – one who would get old together with her - she couldn't get the look on her Doctor's face out of her mind. She understood the immensity of what he had given her. Donna was right, it was a gift. And once she could silence the voice in her heart that had seen his pain – she would be able to accept and love it, but right now all she felt was loss. She had lost him again – no matter what anyone said – no matter how it might develop. She smiled; she knew she would learn to love the Copy Doctor – he was more like "her" Doctor than she liked to admit. He was her old, angry Doctor with the easy smile and embrace of the new. Oh, bonkers! She knew she would love him with all her heart, but what about the Doctor? He would be alone again – he had given her all he could – a copy of himself. For again, he had known what she had ignored being at his side after she finally crossed back into his world. He had known he would have to return her to her new home world, but even he wasn't strong enough to tell her right away. He let her waddle in the bliss of being reunited again and for a short moment, he allowed himself that joy, too – as long as the chase was on, the bad guys were there to fight, they were able to pretend and ignore the facts. For a moment, he was happy; she had felt his hearts beat with joy.
Part of her was angry with him for sacrificing himself to make her happy. Again, he did it without asking her – he still stepped over her like her first Doctor, still treating her as the kid he first met. But she had left that kid behind a long time ago; she had earned the right to be asked about her opinion and if she wanted him to sacrifice his happiness for her. Damn! She smacked the rock under her with the palm of her hand. He did it again. She knew why he had done it, but at what price? She had to live with the fact that she would have a happily-ever-after while he was out there all alone.
Rose bit her lip to fight the tears coming as she heard his soft footsteps behind her. She did not turn, but stared at the same spot. He must have stopped at arms length for she could feel his body heat in the chilly sea air.
"You have to let him go," the Copy Doctor said softly – not daring to touch her.
Another new thing, her Doctor wouldn't have worried and just engulfed her in an embrace. This one seemed more hesitant – his human side, maybe?
"Can you?" she said with out turning.
"You move on."
Rose laughed, stealing a look at him over her shoulder. "That's so the Doctor!"
Digging his hands even deeper his pockets, his left foot traced a line in the sand before he peeked up with a grin. "That's me!"
Rose turned around fully, studying him.
He shifted his weight, uneasy under her gaze. "Rose, I'm him – me, I mean, 100%. " He tilted his head before speaking even more rapidly. "Well, not a full 100% - only got one heart, which needs adjusting – feels odd – like something missing."
Rose raised her eyebrows amused and he rattled on even faster. "But, the rest is me – I'm an exact copy – I have all my memories, knowledge… feeling." He stopped rubbing his chin absentmindedly. "Feelings? Must be from Donna's side – a bit interfering – got to get used to them. They throw you off balance – rage through you like a wildfire." He looked at Rose, intrigued. "Are they always like that?"
Rose laughed. "Welcome to my world."
She extended her hand and he took it, closing the last distance between them. She looked into his eyes and for a moment; she thought she saw the other. Her eyes clouded over. "But he'll be alone again."
"Rose." He laid his other hand on her cheek while squeezing the hand he was holding lightly. "If you don't let go, his—"
"Sacrifice?" she interrupted and he twitched slightly.
"His actions will be worthless if you're unhappy."
"But how can I be happy on his account?" She tried to look away, but he held her cheek.
"Oh, he's used to it. Curse of the Time Lords, remember?" He winked at her, but sobered up quickly at her dubious look. "Trust me. He knew what he was doing and you would dishonor his gift by not accepting it fully."
Rose screwed up her face in thought. "You know, that's what he always wanted."
The Doctor raised his eyebrows, surprised.
"To live a normal life, to grow old with…," she trailed off, but an expectant smile played around her lips.
"You." He leant closer and kissed her gently. Rose returned his kiss passionately.
"I could get used to this. "He pulled back a bit to reveal a boyish grin.
"You may…" She pulled him close again.
Yes, I can do it, Rose thought, I'll honor his wish by living the life he'll never have.