At the Pressing of the Button


The TARDIS, identical to the one they'd just left behind, sat proud and solitary on the next hillock. A man was leaning against the doors, looking annoyed and familiar. Rose grinned at him, as amazed as she was delighted. Both children scrambled away from her and into a quick embrace with the man, but whatever he might have said to them was lost in their childish cacophony.

Rose did hear him tell them to tell her goodbye, and she did, firmly and determinedly brushing tears out of her dripping eyes. Then, the doors opened and the two were gone. The man at the doors smiled at her. "You doing all right?" he asked.

She nodded, shook her head, laughed, and felt like crying all at once. "I guess so," she said.

He held his arms open for her and she flew into them. "I've missed you so much, Jack," she said, a bittersweet melancholy vying for a place with the absolute joy of seeing him again.

He started, then pulled away from her and smiled down into her eyes. "Not half so much as I've missed you, Rosie. But you'd better get back to your time line, and I need to get back to mine before they find another button to press. Don't mention me to him, though."

"Why?" Rose wondered.

"Time lines," Jack said, grinning knowingly and irreverently at her.

"The Doctor's kids are beautiful," she told him. "I'm glad he's got them."

"So am I," Jack said with absolute honesty. His green eyes were sparkling and over-bright and so familiar and beloved that Rose hardly knew what to say next. He put a gentle finger over her lips. "Go on now, precious girl," he said gently.

Rose nodded. "I love you," she told him.

He grinned and tapped her nose, straightening his great coat from where it had been twisted by her hands clutching at it convulsively. "I love you, Rose Tyler. Don't ever forget that."

"Good bye for now," she added. "Take care of him. Of them."

Jack nodded. "See you as soon as I can, love." He kissed her on her forehead, then turned and went back into the TARDIS he had apparently finally returned to.

Rose sighed. This had really been the day for strange revelations.

Then she went back to her TARDIS, her life, and her Doctor.

"Rose Tyler," the Doctor said indignantly, as soon as she shoved open the door. "When you said you scattered the words, this is not what I expected it to mean."

Rose chuckled, then walked into his embrace, whether he liked it or not. He wasn't likely to ask questions, but she wouldn't be tempted to answer them unasked if she kept herself distracted. "Doctor, I promise not to do it again."

He laughed and only hugged her tighter. "You might. I dunno."

She smirked against his chest. "The very next time I decide to put Bad Wolf logos on the TARDIS," she promised, "it will be the end of the world."

Apparently content with this, the Doctor buried his face in her hair. "Where to, Rose Tyler?" he asked after awhile.

"Dunno," she decided, but memory burned blue and bright. "Into time and space, right?"

The Doctor grinned and moved to the console, her hand held securely in his as it always should be. Contentedly, he pulled her closer. "That... that's fantastic.