"I hate him." Rose whispered to the spot where the TARDIS had just dematerialised from. She let go of the other Doctor's hand and started to walk towards the sea.
"What did you say?" he asked her, following.
"I hate him. He never gave me a choice. Always deciding what others should do for them. Never giving them the option."
"He gave you a choice, you chose to stay here. With me."
"No, not once did either of you actually ask me where I would rather be. Or tell me where you would rather be."
"We thought this is what you wanted."
"Exactly, you thought. You don't know what I want. I hate him. And since you keep insisting you're the same, I hate you."
With that she ran further away from him leaving behind a bemused Doctor and worried mother. The other Doctor starting running as well, noticing as he did that Rose seemed a little sluggish.
"ROSE! Rose, come back!"
He watched as she slowed even further and suddenly collapsed. Jackie saw and ran with the other Doctor to her fallen daughter.
The other Doctor knelt by her.
"Rose, what happened? Are you okay?"
"Mum, I don't want anything done to stop this or slow it down."
"You don't mean that sweetie."
With that Jackie stepped a few feet away to give the two of them some privacy. Her thoughts wondering what was going to happen now.
"Will someone tell me what's going on?" The other Doctor persisted, starting to sound panicked.
"I'm like the TARDIS. I can't survive in this universe, I'm dying."
"Is that why you were so determined to return?"
"No, I didn't care about that. I wanted to get back to him, the TARDIS and travelling the universe. I lived each day to the fullest here. Mum only arranged transportation for two to return, her and Mickey." Rose took a much needed pause, her breath becoming laboured. "I stopped them trying to tell the Doctor my problem. Mum desperately wanted to, but I made them promise before I left when I found out that they were going to tell you if they got the chance. To save me, no matter what."
"Why? Why didn't you want us to know?"
"I didn't want to force you into making a decision. Make you think that you had to keep me with you. But you never let me choose wanted I wanted to do either. You guessed. No one expected or wanted me to return to this world. They wanted me to stay to save my life. I wanted to stay for the one life where I was ever truly and completely happy."
"Then why did you kiss me?"
"I wanted a taste and to say goodbye if you were staying. But he was a coward, as always, and ran. I thought I could convince myself you're the same and I could be with you but it's not the same. You feel to me more like Mickey or a brother. Looking in your eyes I don't feel my heart speeding up for no reason."
"You don't care for me in the same way?"
"I love you, but it doesn't feel right."
Jackie had given the two of them their space to talk, but now there were some things she needed to say. She had kept silent long enough.
"Doctor, can I speak to you in private?"
He stood up and followed Jackie a little way down the beach.
"First things first." SLAP
He stumbled back from the force of it, clutching his cheek. It stung a lot more now that he was human.
"That was because I can't slap the other Doctor. Now, Rose doesn't have long." He opened his mouth then shut it from the look on Jackie's face. "We knew that the stress on coming back to this world could destroy her."
"So Rose's only option to live was to stay in the other universe."
"She wanted to give the Doctor a choice, either her travel with him again or leave her on that Earth."
"I don't know if I can live without her. Because I'm more Time Lord I can survive where as Donnas' only options were Death or forgetting."
"Donna is human, so the Doctor will make her forget everything to keep her alive. I can survive, but, without Rose, I don't think I want to."
"I understand. Wouldn't expect anything else really."
"When she goes, I'm going to let down all of my defences and let nature take its course."
He walked back over to where Rose lay and lay down with her. Grasping hands at the same time watching the waves.
"I love you."
Five and a half hours later, form when they first stepped onto the beach, Rose Marion Tyler and the human Doctor were at peace. Travelling the one adventure you can never stop. Their legend, living on long after them.
REVIEW! Please let me know what you think. All comments, thoughts and ideas welcome.
(No matter how critical)
Some ideas in this might be used in other stories.