Streets that I chanced upon, -

you just walked down them and vanished.

He couldn't believe it. Blonde. Five foot five and a half. Never forget the half. Blue leather jacket, pink top peeping out where the jacket had ridden up slightly. Black, skin-tight jeans, black calf-length boots.

He wanted to shout, to yell, to bellow, to say the simple thing. Name. Just her name, and she would turn around, whip her head around to see where the call was coming from. He could imagine her hair whipping around her face, her face perhaps slightly pink from the chill in the early December air.

Something stopped him. A whisper. A little voice in the back of his head. It's not time.

I don't care, he said back to the voice in his head, arms stretched out as if to reach out and grab Rose around the waist and hold her close. It's Rose!

It's not time.

He was clever enough to know what that meant. Of course he was clever enough. Rose was shimmering slightly now, almost as if she was turning transparent.

Then he saw she really was turning transparent. Like a ghost.

Then she was gone. Like a ghost. But she would be back, he knew that was certain. Whether it was tomorrow or in a hundred years he didn't know, but a little seed of hope had implanted itself in his chest and was blooming rapidly.

Stop it. I may regenerate before she comes back.

Maybe, maybe not. But it was a future that he liked the look of, and that certainly was a first.


This time it was his head that whipped around at the call of his name, his face slightly pink from the early December chill. Donna stood there, hands on hips (was she in that position permanently?) and a frown on her face.

"Why you starin' at thin air?"

He had been staring at the exact spot Rose had disappeared with expression that was a mixture of shock and elation.

The Doctor shrugged. "No idea," he lied, not ready to reveal the secrets of the future with Donna. This would be his little secret, a secret that would bloom in his imagination when Donna was sleeping, when he was meant to be fixing the TARDIS. He knew he would dream of the moment when he would be reunited with Rose, which of course he was already doing. Dreams that would now one day become reality.

"Ready to go, then?" he said, a new light in his voice and a new spring in his step. "We could go anywhere you like, Donna Noble!"

"You alright?" she said in response, a little weirded out still with his sudden mood swings. This swing really was sudden, he'd been sulkier than a three-year-old denied a new toy this morning and now he was literally bouncing on his toes.

"I'm great," he said, and for once, he wasn't lying.