A/N: This is the last chapter! :)
Chapter 27 - Departure
Just a few hours later Jackie got up.
Her first port of call was to check on the Doctor. She was desperately worried for him. She went straight to the spare room, opening the door quietly so as not to wake him up. But he wasn't there.
She panicked, scouting the flat for any signs of the Time Lord just incase he'd awoken. Nothing. She arrived last at Rose's room, thinking it was the last place she would find him, but all the same gently pushed open the door.
She was really quite surprised to find him and Rose sleeping in her bed together, still fully dressed. Silently she closed the door again, smiling to herself.
For the next few days the Doctor didn't talk very much. He remained in a silent state, seemingly on autopilot as he moved around the flat. His reflex and motor functions were almost normal again and apart from a few light bruises on his chest he was completely physically healed.
Anytime anyone saw him they hugged him tightly, and for a very long time. They knew he needed comfort and love, and were all too happy to give it. The glass of water and the five aspirin laid out on the table stayed exactly where he'd left them, and remained untouched for weeks. Eventually the Doctor had thrown the aspirin in the bin himself, as if destroying a demon once and for all. He had thought about taking them a few times, but he couldn't go back to being his ninth self; lost and lonely and angry and terrified. He had Rose now. He had Rose and Jack and, god forbid, even Jackie. They were his family now, and he was proud to call them that. He'd never get over what had happened during the Time War, but he might as well start trying to move on now. It was what his wife would have wanted, he was sure.
Three weeks after he'd reclaimed his Time War memories the Doctor woke up on a bright, sunny day. He got up and got dressed, walking into the flat kitchen and making a cup of tea. Jack walked in halfway through in just his boxers, yawning and stretching widely.
The Doctor raised an eyebrow. "No one wants to see that, Jack."
Jack grinned. "Rose and Jackie don't seem to mind…"
The Doctor rolled his eyes as Jack came in to hug him tightly. The kettle clicked and they parted, the Doctor taking another mug down from the hooks for Jack.
"How are you feelin'?" Jack asked, taking a seat at the table.
"Okay," the Doctor replied, setting the mugs down on the table. "I'm ready to leave."
Jack almost dropped the mug in shock. "Huh? You sure?"
The Doctor nodded. "I'm practically healed, and though I probably won't get back the memories of the past few months, I know enough. By the way… what happened after the roof caved in?"
Jack stared at him for a moment. "How much do you know?"
"Rose told me what happened from when we landed to when the roof caved in."
Jack's eyes seemed to disconnect from his. "You sure you wanna know?"
"It collapsed. I died under it, and when I came back I was scared – I thought you and Rose would've died too. I managed to dig you out, you were completely concussed and bleeding everywhere. I put you down on the side and went to find Rose. But when I found her…" He trailed off.
"What?" the Doctor prompted.
"She was almost dead. She was so broken. I carried her over to you, laid her down beside you and I went to find an exit before the rest of the ceilin' collapsed. When I got back… You were hysterical, cryin' and screamin' and huggin' her. I thought she'd died…"
The Doctor nodded, understanding, leaning forward slightly. "Then?"
"You started yellin' in Gallifreyan, I dunno what it was exactly, but I know you were tellin' me to let go of you, beggin' me. I was hurtin' you, just by touchin' you, because I'm 'wrong'…" He paused, his eyes connecting with the Doctor's. "Do I hurt you when I touch you?"
The Doctor ran a hand through his hair. "I'm time sensitive, Jack. You're a fixed point in time and space, and you're completely wrong."
"You didn't answer the question."
The Doctor paused. "Yes, you do," he finally said. Jack's face fell. "But I've learnt to control it. What happened after the ceiling collapse was I reverted back to animal instinct, I lost all control over it. You were like a lion and I was a gazelle. Yes, you would've been hurting me."
"… You mean, I can't touch you?" Jack asked, looking like he'd been punched in the stomach.
The Doctor quickly raised a hand. "I can manage it when I'm conscious and in control of my senses. Just try not to touch me skin-on-skin for too long, the prolonged contact could give me burns and blisters. What happened after that?"
Jack almost seemed to be on the verge of tears. He took a gulp of tea. "I found an exit, I dragged you out. You were still kickin' and screamin', wouldn't let go of Rose. Finally I managed to calm you down and you spoke English again. We found a van, you found a first aid kit in the back and treated Rose with it…" He gave a small grin. "Kate said what you did in that van probably saved Rose's life. We got to the camp and you collapsed. You were in a coma for eleven days until Kate managed to get you and Rose to the hospital, and the rest you probably know," he finished, gauging a reaction from the Doctor.
He simply nodded, looking down at his cup of tea that he cradled in both hands. "Thank you for telling me."
Jack nodded back. "So… you're ready to go?" he sounded somehow hopeful. The Doctor suddenly laughed. It warmed Jack's heart to hear it once more after so long, but he was still confused. "What?"
"You only have to ask," the Doctor said simply.
Jack beamed. "Can I travel with you?"
"Yeah." The Doctor grinned back. "I'd love it!"
"Oh, YES!" Jack punched the air and jumped out of his seat, running to hug the Doctor tightly. After a moment he let go, drawing back in uncertainty. "Touched too long?"
"Oh, too long is over five minutes," the Doctor assured him. Instantly Jack grasped him tightly in both arms again, lifting his left arm to time himself on the clock of his time manipulator.
After a moment the Doctor shifted in his grip. "You can let go now, Jack."
"Three minutes, two seconds left…" Jack said happily. The Doctor couldn't help but laugh.
The Doctor announced his intentions of departure over lunch to them all, Jackie quite predictably launching into babble about how he wasn't well enough and he should try to relax before he tried to get himself blown up again, but Rose simply hugged him and smiled. Evidently she was ready to go too.
Over the afternoon the Doctor made repairs to the TARDIS, who was delighted to find him back on form. She wrapped him in happiness and love as he worked, repairing the systems he'd destroyed in his blind rage. The TARDIS could quite clearly feel his guilt at what had happened but she kept reassuring him that it wasn't his fault, and all that mattered was that he was better now.
At 6pm the motley family ate their last meal together, Spaghetti Bolognese. The farewells were emotional, Jackie almost grabbing the Doctor into submission and making him swear they would come back and visit her soon.
The three boarded the TARDIS, and the Doctor commenced programming. Soon they were flying through the vortex, the three on-board being erratically thrown about, just like the old days.
Rose moved over to the Doctor, hugging him silently. He smiled and turned, hugging her back. After a moment he took her hand and led her over to the captain's chair, sitting her down before taking a seat next to her.
"The last time I asked you I probably wasn't reliable," he said, smiling gently as he took her hands. Her eyes widened. "I really am sure, you know. I'm a time traveller for Rassilon's sake; I can't keep going on with one foot in the past. I'm ready to move on. And I think this is the first step." He swallowed, and then looked directly into her eyes. "I love you. Will you bond with me?"
"Yeah," she said, smiling. "Of course I will. I love you."
He leant forward, and kissed her passionately.
It was from that point on they knew that their lives would never be the same again, but never had they been so fantastic.
A/N: That's it! done! Complete! Over! You probably won't be seeing a sequel. I hope I did this justice. I just have the persistent feeling that I messed it totally up :x
I guess I should unveil to you my secret master plan now, the original premise for this fic was a couple of dreams me and PKarma42 had. She mentioned hers to me and we decided it would make they would make a great fic - it's the reason the titles is Dreams. Anything else, the dream Mal had or the fact the Doctor's dreams helped him recover, was just bonus material :D So this fic is dedicated to PKarma42. Obrigada! ... Err... sexta! Err... vai tomar no cu! (:o The things you teach me...)
Here's my shameless plug. The next fic you'll probably see heading your way is a collaborative work between me and the-writer1988, it's a fic set in the parallel world with 10.5 and Rose. It's called Ransom, and, yeah, of course it's got lots of whump. Who d'you think you're talking to, here? :D