Let's Just Pretend

Part 2

...

It feels like the most wonderful thing, she thought, idly tracing circles on his abdomen, to be so connected to him. In so many ways.

She could not bear to think what it was going to be like when she had to give this up. When she couldn't be with him, in each and every way they both wanted so much. In mind, body, soul. She could not bear to think what he was going to be like when he didn't have her thoughts to reassure him; didn't have her arms to wrap around him; didn't have her hand to hold his. She could not bear to think that he wouldn't cope, that she wouldn't cope, with life without each other.

So she pretended that she'd never have to find out if they'd cope or not. Because: It. Wasn't. Going. To happen.

They'd defy it, somehow; defy her death, or defy their separation, or whatever - they'd defy it, and they would be together forever.

...

He couldn't believe how this girl made him feel.

It was incredible, the way they'd gone from pretending they weren't in love, to making love, rather spectacularly, rather frequently.

It was also incredible that both of them could ignore the fact that this wouldn't last long in the Doctor's life. His hand was made to fit in hers, and her mind to cope with his, and everything about them was so perfect and so...so soul-mate-esque, that the pair of them sort of forgot, after so much pretending, that there would come a time when all this was over.

...

It didn't matter that they'd forgotten. Not until there was a day, a dreadful day: with a deep, dark pit and a Devil and an orange suit and a bit more than a storm outside and a possessed group of slave-aliens and a rocket and a missing TARDIS and them, separated by hundreds and hundreds of miles.

...

But it all came good, sort of. After.

...

"It said I was gonna die in battle," Rose said, her voice shaky and sad.

"Then it lied," he lied, and Rose almost believed him, because he sounded so sure, so determined. But she knew, she knew, that he was pretending again.

And she smiled anyway, and pretended right along with him. She wasn't ready to face her impending death quite yet, thank you very much Universe.

...

They love each other, and they know that, at least, is true, even as they run run run run run as fast as they can from the Beast's words and he does not listen to his despairing thoughts that insist he could lose her at

any. given. moment.

Seriously. He doesn't listen. He blocks the voice out and he has fun and concentrates on her and how beautiful she is and how much he loves her.

...

"I love you."

"I know."

"Doctor."

"Yeah?"

- telling silence -

"Oh! Right! Love you too, Rose!"

- cuddles happen -

...

They are happy. Oh, are they happy! So many adventures. So much fun. A fair bit of trouble, a fair bit of danger. But it isn't Time yet; it isn't over. So the trouble and the danger are welcomed just like usual, and they love it. They love it, and themselves, everything they do, everything they did, everything they are. All of it. Brilliant! Molto Bene!

Hand in hand they run.

Alons-y!

...

"A storm? What do you mean, a storm?" Rose asked anxiously, clutching his arm.

He swallowed past the lump in his throat, controlled his pained expression, and looked down at her affectionately. "Oh, just a silly thunderstorm, nothing to worry about! We can pop in the TARDIS for a bit and be a right as rain! Well, not as right as rain, because we'll be dry, nice and dry and inside, away from the thunder and lightning and stuff. Where'd that expression come from, anyway? Right as rain. How is rain right? I can tell you this for nothing: rain on the planet Areodhi is definitely not right, because it has this...this sort of element in it that is - "

" - Doctor," she interrupted.

"Hmm?"

"Shut up," she laughed.

He grinned at her, grabbed her hand, and they ran back to their home as quickly as they could, to shelter from the thunderstorm that they both knew wasn't really coming that night.

She'd seen the sky, after all. Not a cloud in sight. Just stars. And she'd seen his face, she'd felt him tense; she'd felt him shiver. She herself had shivered at that foreboding tone of voice he'd used.

She knew, though he did not say, that things were ending soon.

And just like she had, by her saying never ever, she knew that he was lying. Nothing to worry about. He was pretending things would always be okay. Because one night, oh-so-long ago, she'd told him to pretend. And pretend they did.

Oh, pretend they did.

But that night? They danced like it was their last chance.

Their last chance to dance before their universe ended.

...

On either side of a pan-dimensional white wall, they both realised that it had been.

The Doctor felt like the universe had taken everything that mattered to him away and wrenched out his hearts and stomped on them with big, heavy metal boots.

Because it had.

And Rose cried and cried until she fell into a sleep where she dreamed that everything was fine, and happy, and lovely.

A place where she could continue pretending, until she got home to him. Which she would do. Like she always did. She'd get back to him. She'd make him better again. And everything really would be okay.

They both vowed to themselves that night that they'd never give up. They'd find a way back to each other. Neither of them was dead; it was still possible.

Their love...star-crossed, impossible...but still very much alive.

And if there was one thing that the pair of them had learnt to believe in, after all they'd been through, it was each other.

...

She runs to him, and he takes her hand in his.

They don't have to pretend anymore. They have each other. They'll always have each other. Forever. They're back together and things will stay that way.

Forever is a promise they can both keep now, and the pretending is not needed anymore.

They are the Doctor and Rose. And you know what? They live happily ever after, just as they should.

...

They don't necessarily need to dance like it's their last chance all the time anymore, but they do it anyway. Because it's fun, and they love it. They love it a lot.

...

Fin.

...

A/N: Ok, so I tried to leave it on a hopeful note, so as to not depress you completely. Now, you can make up your own mind what happens to let them live with their happy ever after and a promise of forever they can both keep. Is it Journey's End, with 10.5? 14? Or is it some AU thing that happens with 10? Or maybe some other version of him? Who knows. Hmm...

As I'm sure some sort of wise person somewhen, somwhere said: the possibilities are endless.

Much love xxx