She died that day, and nothing had been the same for her since.

Shifting to straighten legs that had been in one position too long, she shoved her hair away from her reddened eyes and leaned back on her hands. She thought she'd be done with crying by now but sitting here, where she'd last seen him, she'd felt the tears coming, relentless as the waves lapping greedily at the shore. Relentless, and just as cold. She thought she'd known pain, heartache, but the fates had taken it upon themselves to prove to her just how wrong her assumptions had been. Silly Human. Stupid ape. To think you would find happiness. The unspoken words of the cosmos flung themselves with mocking fury at her as she sat on the desolate stretch of sand.

There's a difference now, a small part of her mind whispered. I've seen so much, done so much. This isn't a patch on the frozen seas of Women Wept. Not even close to the splendour of the tri-hued moons of Santillax. In fact, this beach was completely unremarkable in every aspect, when compared with places she'd been to. Every aspect but one. They'd parted here. Sealed apart by the closing of a rift, separated for all eternity. She'd told him she loved him. And though he'd not been able to answer before the rift closed forever, she knew. They'd both known words were never necessary. But that last contact between them, that brief moment that couldn't even be physicalit had been on this beach. And to Rose, that made this the most beautiful place she would ever see.

Closing her eyes once more, feeling the chill breeze bring tiny raindrops to spatter on her skin, she thought of her Oncoming Storm, now lost to her forever. And the sky wept with her.

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You'd think time would cut a Time Lord a break, he thought as he moodily fiddled with the Tardis controls. But no, instead I have an unwanted (and noisy) white-draped woman standing in my home and shouting at me, when the only woman I want to be with me is trapped on the other side of the void.. Fantastic. At least when Rose yelled at me, it was usually for something I did, he thought with a rueful mental chuckle.

Being the supremely intelligent being that he was, it was quite easy for him to simultaneously talk to the nagging woman that had randomly appeared on his ship how had that HAPPENED? arrange the Tardis controls, and entertain the bittersweet thought that Rose would be a beautiful bride, smiling and happy, hair arranged with precious gems that paled by comparison to the woman they adorned, decked out in the finest Gallifreyan finery...this line of thought was sadly and thankfully interrupted when his "guest" flung open the doors and stared blankly at the celestial view spread before her. Her astonishment reminded him of how very much he'd enjoyed provoking that reaction from Rose whenever he could.

Shutting the doors, he listened with half an ear as the seemingly never silent female rampaged her way around the control room. However, it was when she picked up a very familiar jacket that he nearly lost his tenuous grip on the emotions he was trying to bury in the spirit of self-preservation.

How could he answer her questions? How could he explain to a total stranger what Rose had meant to him, to his life, even to the Tardis? Instead he just snatched the jacket from her hands it still smelled like her; perfume and shampoo and Rose and answered as best he could, giving what voice was possible to questions that brought grief to the very forefront of his mind. Sweet mother of chaos, how was he to stop the pain? How could he forget her?