A/N: WOW. Finally got this out. How's that for a cruel cliffhanger? Haha. No seriously. I'm SO sorry this took so long. I've gotten so many great reviews and really thank you to all of you who stuck with me long enough to see this last chapter come (if anyone is out there still, lol). I hope it gets kinda close to expectations. I find myself really good at writing the lead in to things and then bloody awful at trying to write out the climax of something without having it totally fall apart.
Anyway, not like any of you will be reading all this, I hope you enjoy this last chapter!
Rose's mind was moving so fast that she could not keep in all the questions, and they came spilling out, falling onto a bemused Donna who looked ready to laugh at the whole situation.
"Where is he? Are you traveling with him? What year is it? How long have you been with him? Is there anyone else with him? What does he looks like-"
The last question stopped her short and she felt her stomach drop. Donna was giggling at this point, but Rose's thoughts turned dark. What if it wasn't *him*? What if he had regenerated? What if he had regenerated twice? Or even three times by now?
Donna must have sensed her hesitation after the last question; because that was the one she chose to answer.
"Tall, skinny as a zipper, hair that looks like he's just stuck his finger in a socket. Why does it matter what he looks like? Does he look different sometime-"
But Rose wasn't listening anymore. Her heart had sped up and she felt herself almost shaking with anticipation.
"Donna!" she interrupted, quickly cutting the redhead off before she could go into a ramble. "Please." Rose tightened her hold on Donna's arm. "Where is he?"
Donna smirked, motioning with her head to the nearby alleyway. "Come and see."
It was too quiet inside the TARDIS, the Doctor thought. It had been quiet for so long, apart from his occasional rambles to himself. And he couldn't help but smile at the thought that it wouldn't be quiet for much longer…Donna would see to that.
What on earth was taking her so long?
He glanced over at her pile of luggage that he had lugged just inside the TARDIS doors.
She really wasn't going to need anything in that hat box.
Heaving a sigh and glancing once more at his watch, the Doctor jumped to his feet and started for the door. All of time and space and he was waiting on a woman…again.
Throwing one of the doors open he shouted, "Donna! Allonsy!"
He saw two figures at the end of the alleyway but couldn't tell if one of them was Donna. Rolling his eyes, he stepped out, slipping his hands casually into his pockets and leaning against the TARDIS, peering at the approaching figures.
One of them had stopped when he shouted and didn't seem to be moving closer. The other had continued for a moment, then turned and motioned to the other to follow.
The Doctor squinted. That was definitely Donna, having given up on the other person and now walking, almost running towards him, now gesturing for him to come towards her.
But the other person…
Pushing himself up, the Doctor frowned, starting to take small steps towards Donna , but his eyes staying locked on the other shadow. Whoever it was, they hadn't moved since they had heard his voice, but when he started walking, so did they.
Donna practically raced up to him, a bit out of breath, but he still didn't look at her.
"Donna, who is…"
And then she stepped out of the offending shadow, the Doctor's hearts crashing together as he saw her.
Rose stopped, hearing his voice again.
She couldn't think. She couldn't even concentrate. Her legs stopped working and she saw him.
He stepped out of the TARDIS. Suit, trainers, hair…that lovely hair. He looked exactly the same as she remembered and she felt the tears flowing down her face.
Donna was urging her forward, but Rose had to study him for a moment, drinking in a sight that she thought she was never going to see again.
He couldn't see her. Or at least he couldn't tell who she was. Rose saw him squint into the darkness. She saw Donna continue to hurry up to the TARDIS.
Finally, the Doctor took a step forward and Rose couldn't wait any longer.
She stepped out into the light, her paces growing as she saw the Doctor's eyes go wide with recognition and his own footsteps getting faster as he moved towards her.
Tears streamed out of her eyes and she almost wanted to sob. The look on his face had gone from shock to disbelief to amazement to utter joy. She felt herself crying and laughing at the same time, her body strong with adrenaline as they raced into each other's arms.
On normal days, the Doctor's mind went fast; far too fast for any human to really follow his train of thought.
But when he saw Rose standing there, the Doctor felt like his brain exploded.
What? How? Why?
Thoughts jumbled into his mind at a million light-years per second. Calculations ran through his head, flashbacks of the months and months when he tried and tried to reach the parallel world…to reach Rose.
And then suddenly she smiled.
And the Doctor didn't want to think any more. Didn't want to know. Didn't want to do.
The Doctor just wanted to be. Here and Now. She was here, and so was he.
His grin grew ecstatically as he started jogging, and then flat out running, towards her. Her pace had picked up as well, and he saw tears streaming down her face, her smile still shining brighter than any star he had ever seen.
Neither of them slowed when they reached one another. They crashed together, his arms grabbing her waist and her arms encircling his neck, perfectly fitting, just as they always had. Using the momentum, he held her tight as he spun her around, her laugh sounding like heaven in his ears. He found himself laughing as well. Laughing…and crying.
There was so much that needed to be said and done. But for that moment, the Doctor let it all slide, and lowing her back down to the ground, he simply held her, unsure if he would ever be able to let her go again.
It was so easy, Rose thought…Just like breathing.
They reached each other so effortlessly, her hands already knowing where to reach and his arms feeling quite perfect around her waist. She laughed and cried and could not care less about anything else in the universe.
She took in his scent, his feel, his touch, the sound of his slightly erratic breathing…
All still the same…
She let her mind think for a moment. Let herself consider, just briefly, about what she wanted from this moment…what she needed from this moment.
But as they both stopped and just stood there, holding each other, Rose didn't want to think any more.
She didn't want to think because if she did, she would never forgive herself. Never.
So without thinking, without wondering why (because, frankly, she *knew* why)…
…Rose pulled back, and kissed him.
She didn't know what to expect and she didn't care. She just kissed him. Kissed him with pent up passion and pain and regret and longing.
Kissed him for the words that had been said…and the words that had not been said at Bad Wolf Bay.
Kissed him for all the other moments of her life that she wished she had.
Perhaps because it was so sudden…Perhaps because he wasn't thinking…
Perhaps because it was Rose.
He responded to the kiss almost instantly, a momentary flutter of surprise shocking him as she pressed her warm lips against his.
For the first time in a long time, the Doctor could feel no pain, no regret, no sadness. The sheer, utter joy of the moment seemed to be overwhelming them both and he held her tighter, eventually breaking the kiss himself, unsure if she could keep from breathing for that long.
She gulped in huge breaths at once, but her gaze didn't waver and her hold on him didn't go slack. Dried tears stained her face and he knew he had a few of his own as well.
"Hello," she breathed out.
Her voice…oh her voice. For the rest of his life, the Doctor knew he would never forget her voice.
"Hello," he said back softly. "Long time no see?"
She laughed again. He loved it.
He loved her.
More tears welled up in her eyes and she bit back a laugh. "Well, been a bit…busy, you know?"
He loved her.
"You'll have to tell me about it some time," he answered back, his eyes searching her face, memorizing her again.
She looked a bit older…less like a child, more like a woman. Her eyes held knowledge and a past inside them. She felt thinner in his arms. Her clothing was rougher than he remembered.
His thoughts began running again and he suddenly wanted to know everything.
Still knowing him all too well, she answered his unspoken question. "It was Torchwood…in the other dimension. They…we," she corrected, "developed the technology…" She seemed to not quite be able to find the right words. "They call it a dimension cannon."
He had to frown at the implications. The glee of the moment still burned in his mind, but sinking through it was the reality. If Rose was here, that means she crossed through dimensions. If crossing through dimensions was possible again…something was going to go seriously wrong.
Her voice snapped him out of his thoughts at once. He felt her hand come up to his cheek and he looked back into her eyes. More tears ran down her cheeks as she looked up at him, hesitant and meek.
"Please," she whispered, eyes closing momentarily and then opening again, still filled with tears. "Please just give me this moment when we don't think about that."
For her? Anything.
He grabbed her back into a tight hug, leaning down to kiss her forehead quickly, and held her again.
It was easier than he thought to drop the issue. Whatever was going to happen, Rose would be there with him when it did.
He felt like he could face anything knowing that.
A/N: Well that is as far as I'm going for this story. If people are interested, I might try to continue it in a sequel or something, but I probably won't update any faster than I did with this story (sorry, that's life). This was the kind of reunion I wanted for the Doctor and Rose, but I never got, so I always continue to write it in my mind and you should too. Thanks for reading and I'm hope you enjoyed!