Disclaimer: I do not own!

Two weeks later like a surplus reprieve
I found a hair the length of yours on my sleeve

Sometimes, it is so easy to pretend he hasn't lost her.

He still finds her hair everywhere—blond, silky strands that cling to his clothes and tickle at his wrists like ghosts. Her toothbrush in the bathroom cabinet; a jacket slung over the console room railing; that ridiculous Star Wars mug she'd bought for him and then refused to let him use, still sitting in the sink… tiny pieces of Rose Tyler, accumulated over two years, in every corner and crevice of his life.

It's just that he doesn't know what to do with it all. He can't throw them away, obviously. Touching or moving them seems out of the question—an insult to her memory and a jinx to bar her from ever returning. So he tiptoes around the TARDIS like a nervous anthropologist, careful to leave these precious artifacts of her undisturbed. And if he's very, very lucky, on those days when he ends up running for his life and can manage to distract himself, he can believe she's still around. Honestly, Rose, he'll grumble as he flops, exhausted, into his chair, you still haven't washed your dishes? They've been in the sink since—

And then he remembers exactly how long it's been, and the fantasy comes crashing down. Still, though, he lets these relics linger. If these brief, forgetful moments of annoyance are the closest he'll ever get to her again, then he'll take them gladly.

He's become too much like her, he thinks. The girl who loves for forever because it never occurred to her she shouldn't. Who looked into the heart of the Vortex and felt Time shining from every pore, wanting nothing more than to keep him safe.

He burns up a sun just to say goodbye.

It will never be enough.