A Goodbye to the Past
Disclaimer: Ha! I wish!
A/N: Ok, so this is sort of an unofficial sequel to The End Of An Era but they can be mutually exclusive so don't worry if you haven't read that one because (hopefully!) this will still make perfect sense.
A/N Take Two: So this is a Ten/Rose/10.5 fic. It's basically a write-up of the beach scene in Journey's End so if you haven't seen Series Four's finale and don't want to be spoilered, look away now! You have been warned! Enjoy and remember people...reviews are love!
The wind whipped around the contours of the weathered rock walls and the gentle sea mist rose and fell, as, through a haze of sand and water, there came a sound like no other. A thrumming and whirring that caught up the world around it and fashioned it into shape. The sound of the Universe.
A seemingly insignificant blue, 1950s police box materialised in the bay, its blue light flashing intermittently. The door, worn slightly by the touch of so many saviours, so many heroes, opened tentatively.
A woman in a powder blue parka, her peroxide blond hair flying as her excited chatter was swept up in the wind, wandered aimlessly along with a tall, blue-suited man with windswept brown hair.
The bright blue door creaked as three more people emerged and drunk in their surroundings. Only one of them was new to Bad Wolf Bay.
As the Doctor and Rose looked around at the bay where they had shared their last moments together, their collective memories flashed, unspoken, between their minds.
Familiar tears welled up in Rose's eyes as she realised that she was reliving the worst moments of her life. She had lost the love of her life, stood on the powdery white sand a lifetime ago. She had spent so long trying to find him again, risking universes for the past, only to lose him again now.
She looked to him, searching is hardened face. They both desperately tried to hide their heartbreak. The beach they now stood on held so much hurt and so many tears and unspoken words for them.
"Hold on, this is the parallel universe, right?"
The Doctor watched her carefully and spoke one, unsmiling sentence and sealed her fate.
"You're back home."
Donna stepped forward and filled in the blanks.
"And the walls of the world are closing again, now that the Reality Bomb never happened. It's Dimensional Retroclosure. See, I really get that stuff now."
"No…but…I spent all that time trying to find you, I'm not going back now!"
"But you've got to. Because we saved the world but at a cost. And the cost is him."
He indicated his blue-suited clone with a slight nod of his head. "He destroyed the Daleks. He committed genocide. He's too dangerous to be left on his own."
The other Doctor bridled at this. "You made me"
"Exactly. You were born in battle. Full of blood and anger and revenge."
He turned to Rose. "Remind you of someone?"
She searched his face for an answer.
"That's me. When we first met. And you made me better. Now you can do the same for him."
"But he's not you," she pleaded tearfully.
He looked her directly in the eyes and, for the first time, he told her the truth; "He needs you. That's very me."
She still looked hurt and again, Donna said the words that the Doctor seemed to have trouble forming.
"But it's better than that! Don't you see what he's trying to give you? Tell her, go on!"
Rose turned questioningly to the clone of the Time Lord she loved.
"I look like him. I think like him. Same memories, same thoughts, same everything. Except I've only got one heart."
"I'm part human. Specifically the aging part. I'll grow old and never regenerate. I've only got one life, Rose Tyler. I could spend it with you…if you want."
"You'll grow old at the same time as me?"
He looked at her tenderly.
"Together," he confirmed.
She stared transfixed at him and, tentatively, touched his chest and felt his solitary heartbeat pulse at her touch.
The Tardis burst into life and she turned to her Doctor.
"We've gotta go. This reality's sealing itself off…" He paused, as if afraid of what came next. "Forever."
Rose started forward.
"But…it's still not right, though! 'Cause the Doctor's…still you!"
"And I'm him."
She seemed to reach a decision.
"Alright. Both of you, answer me this; when I last stood on this beach, on the worst day of my life, what was the last thing you said to me?"
Her Doctor tensed as if holding back.
"Go on! Say it!"
He gritted his teeth.
"I said 'Rose Tyler…'"
"Yeah…and…how was that sentence gonna end?"
He looked at her. His expression begged for pity and an escape from the heartache.
"Does it need saying?" he implored.
She turned to his counterpart.
"And you, Doctor? What was the end of that sentence?"
He leaned in and touched her arm. He whispered three words into her ear; the three most important words in the universe; "I love you."
She turned to him, grabbing his jacket lapels, pulling him towards her and turning her dreams of her Doctor into a perfect reality.
As the Tardis whirred into life and Rose, hand in hand with the Doctor, watched it leave without her and began to realise that she had been locked in an embrace with the wrong man and that the right man had been standing just centimetres away.
She had lost him again. Her Lonely Angel. Her Oncoming Storm. Her Bad Wolf.
Her clasp tightened on the Doctor's hand and she suddenly accepted him. He was the Doctor, her Doctor and she would make him better. She would love him and they would grow old together and she would die, peaceful, happy and loved in his familiar arms.
That's what happens when the Doctor touches your heart; you find a new lease of life and hidden depths and a perfect, unadulterated belief in yourself.