The End of his Time

The Doctor stood in the shadows, listening to the snowflakes flurry around him. Soft and delicate, like the echoes of her voice. They had seemed so distant in the back of his mind all this time, always repeating the same words. Sometimes irrelevant ramblings whilst others were poignant and heart wrenching. All different, all imprinted through the very fibre of his being, plaguing his breath with their essence. But they were beautiful and cherished, none of them forgotten.

Now new words circulated the cold air around his numb skin, so close that they caused that numbness to spread deeper, subduing the inevitable. He was waiting blissfully for his reward - the crunch of footsteps nearing making the anticipation of seeing her all too much to bear.

He winced with a groan. The footsteps stopped, dragging his eyes away from the long awaited sight of her.

"You alright mate?" she asked. His Rose asked.

He lifted his gaze, trying his best to conceal his pain "Yeah" he managed. She looked so beautiful, always so precious.

"Too much to drink?" she smiled, crossing her arms in the cold.

"Something like that" he dismissed, standing straight. The urge to hold her was becoming intolerable so he cast it away to the recesses of his clouded mind.

"Maybe it's time you went home" she continued.

"Yeah" he responded again, meaning never. Never again would he want to return to them, after all they had caused, all they were prepared to do. The mere thought of his people left a sour taste in his mouth. It was either that or regeneration energy.

But her smile distracted his thoughts. She was smiling at him with that grin and his hearts shattered.

"Anyway, happy new year" she beamed, snowflakes fluttering passed her - the occasional one landing on eyelashes of her brilliant brown eyes. They were burning with life, quite the contrast to his fading hazel stare, the fire of life dwindling softly.

That was it. She turned away. Rose hadn't recognised him, just as well, time - lines and all that. But he couldn't let her go, not yet.

"What year is this?" he called to her.

She span around to meet his gaze once more.

"Blimey, how much have you had?" she asked, suppressing a laugh beneath that fantastic smile.

"Well" he murmured, cocking his head to the side.

"2005, January the 1st" Rose responded, a little slower as though to get the message across, he chuckled within the blazing battlefield of his mind.

"2005" he repeated, causing her to nod reflectively.

"Tell you what" he began, mustering up a smile "I bet you're going to have a really great year"

"Yeah?" she smirked to him within the ever-falling flurry of white.

He puckered a cheek, taking note of every contour of Rose's happy face and each twinkling reflection of star and snowfall within her bronze gaze. Her smile became wider and then she went to move "See ya" she concluded, running toward the warmth in the opposite direction.

The Doctor followed her every movement. Spying her looking back as she climbed the stairwell and out of sight for the last time. His eyes were now brimming with tears and he knew this was it, he'd seen Rose one final time and taken in her electrifying essence before it was too late and he was changed again. The blood boiling pain within him burst through his uplifted melancholy, causing him to grunt with another stabbing pain. He'd re-payed, he'd saved, he'd loved and he'd lived...the Doctor knew this was truly the end of his time.