A/N Final chapter. Thank you so much to everyone who has read and reviewed this fluffy little tale along the way! It was such fun to write. There will be a few more sequels for this series but, unfortunately for the Doctor and Rose, also a bit more angst.
The Wedding March began to play as Pete Tyler rounded the corner with Rose on his arm.
The Doctor had seen many sights throughout his long life that had burned into his memory and would live there for the rest of his days — both the good and the bad; but this one eclipsed them all. His very breath hitched at the vision of Rose. Her hair was arranged in elegant spirals atop her head, crowned with a flowing veil. She wore a strapless gown which hugged her figure and flared out gracefully at the bottom. The bodice was embossed with a delicate silver weave and studded with crystal accents that shimmered in the candlelight. The Doctor had never seen a more gorgeous sight in all his lives. She was positively radiant. The glow emanating from her in the candlelight was faintly reminiscent of the way she had looked when she stepped out of the TARDIS on Satellite Five with the essence of Bad Wolf flowing through her. If ever his hearts were beating out a Samba, it was in this moment.
Rose's eyes locked with his and suddenly they were the only two people in the garden – the only two people in the universe. They smiled widely at each other as she approached, neither one quite believing that this moment had finally arrived. She reached the end of the aisle, and Pete gave her to the Doctor.
They clasped each other's hands and never took their gaze away from the other. The Doctor and Rose had decided they would say their own vows but didn't prepare them ahead of time. Instead, they planned to just speak from the heart what they were feeling in the moment. It seemed appropriately-ironic, considering they had refrained from doing so in regards to their feelings for so long.
The Doctor went first.
He smiled at Rose in that soulful way reserved for her alone, their fingers laced together as he took a deep breath and began to speak.
"Rose, I speak every language known to man, yet how can I even begin to put into words what you mean to me? You saved me. So many times and in so many ways. Just before I met you, I was so full of blood and anger and revenge; but you made me better. And then when I lost you, I lost a part of myself. But when I felt like giving up, it was your name that kept me fighting. And when you found me again, I swore to myself that I would never let you go…that I would have no more regrets and waste no more time. And I'm sorry — so sorry that it took me losing you before I would admit these things, but I promise to spend the rest of my life not only telling you, but showing you how much I love you. I'm not expecting things to always be perfect; and considering what we've already been through, I'm not naïve enough to think that the universe isn't going to throw more challenges our way. But I know we can make it through anything together, because I believe in us. So today, I pledge to you my love, my honor, and my devotion. From this day forward. For all of Time."
The Doctor was passed the ring, and he lifted her hand and slipped it on her finger, then sealed it with a kiss.
Rose felt tears pricking her eyes and swallowed past the lump in her throat. She took a deep, steadying breath, and with her eyes locked on his, began to speak.
"Doctor, my Doctor. I've loved you from the moment I met you. A part of me died the day we were separated, but it was my love for you that kept me going, kept me believing that maybe, just maybe, we could overcome the impossible. I never for one moment stopped loving you. And since we've been together again I've discovered something that I never thought possible: I love you more. More each day, and more than I thought it was even possible to love anyone. You're my best friend, constant companion, and the love of my life. Before I met you I always felt like my life was missing something. And then you came along and I realized that I had always been waiting for you. You complete me, and without you I'm empty. I once promised you forever, and that's a promise I will always keep. I promise that you will never be alone again. I promise to stand by you, to love you, and to honor you for the rest of my life. Now and forever. Always, my love."
Donna handed Rose the ring, and she placed it on his finger, then gripped his hand firmly in hers once more.
When it came time for the minister to ask if there was anyone present who objected to this union, Jack, as only he could, produced a rather persuasive gun and dared anyone to try. "If anyone even thinks about saying something right now," he warned, "I strongly encourage you to reconsider." A chuckle passed through the crowd as the Doctor gave Jack a nod of approval. The Doctor certainly didn't approve of guns, but in this case, he made an exception.
Before they were even finished being pronounced husband and wife, the Doctor and Rose were in each other's arms as their lips came together in a kiss that rivaled their first. They were only vaguely aware of the whistles, cheers and applause that erupted around them. Finally, they broke apart and turned to face everyone as they were presented for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. Doctor Tyler.
For once, all was right in the universe.
During the reception, the Doctor was delighted to discover that the cake actually did have a miniature replica of the TARDIS sitting atop it just behind the little figures of the bride and groom. And the groom was, of course, wearing trainers.
As they fed each other the cake in traditional fashion, the Doctor was making even more of a mess than Tony as he spread it on Rose's face just to have the excuse to lick it off. He was finally putting his oral fixation to good use, Rose thought to herself, and she shivered with excitement as she realized it was only a promise of things to come.
Later, the Doctor led Rose by the hand to the small dance floor that had been set up in the garden as they shared their first dance together as husband and wife. He held her closely in his arms as they began to sway gently to the soft, slow music.
The Doctor gazed around in wonder at his cherished friends, the family he now had in the Tylers, and of course, his beloved wife in his arms. Sarah Jane was right: He felt like he had the biggest family in the universe. He couldn't believe the universe had actually been this kind to him for once.
He pulled Rose more tightly against his chest and sighed in contentment. "Not a bad life."
Rose lifted her head from his chest a smiled up at him. "Better with two," she told him. He matched her smile and leaned down to give her a lingering kiss.
Later on, his Eleventh counterpart took to the dance floor after announcing that he had only come for the dancing. Although the display he put on wasn't exactly what could be considered dancing on any planet. When the Doctor joined him and doubled the foolishness with the two of them gyrating like Time Lord lunatics, Rose thought her sides might split from laughing so hard.
"You two are terrible!" Donna called out in hysterics. "It's embarrassing!"
Eventually, the Doctor and Rose danced with each guest in turn, and as the Doctor was sharing a dance with Martha, he felt a twinge of jealousy as he looked over at Jack dancing with Rose and holding her a little too close for the Doctor's liking. He quickly excused himself from Martha in the middle of the dance.
Some things never change, she thought to herself with a wry smile. But she hardly felt disappointed, as Mickey was immediately at her side taking the Doctor's place, reconfirming to her that some things do work out for the best after all.
The Doctor strode up to Jack and clapped him firmly on the shoulder while clearing his throat. "I believe this dance belongs to me," he told him.
"Doc, why is it that you always manage to interrupt me when things are getting good?" he asked with a sigh as the Doctor took Rose back into his arms once more. "Fine," Jack held up his hands in defeat. "But if you ever get tired of this one," he told Rose, "just remember I'm available." Rose giggled. Jack gave her a wink. The Doctor shot him a glare and wrapped his arms around Rose more possessively.
The Doctor looked down at her and smiled softly. "Hello."
"Hello," she replied, nearly dizzy with happiness. They had enjoyed dancing with their friends, but ached to be in each other's arms again.
The Doctor lifted a hand and gently trailed his fingers down her cheek.
"Rose," he breathed out deeply, "I love you so much. It's…it's almost unbearable."
She lifted up on her toes and brushed the side of her face against his as she whispered in his ear, "Why don't you show me how much?"
She pulled back and looked into his eyes once more. His gaze became dark and intense as he let out a low growl and took her by the hand. He had more than adequately fulfilled his part in this human ritual. It was time for what came next, and they had waited long enough. They quickly and covertly began making their way to the TARDIS, but they heard Donna call out behind them.
"Oi! Don't think you're getting away that easily!"
Suddenly they were caught in a shower of rice as everyone gathered around them and cheered. They made it to the TARDIS which now had a 'Just Married' sign plastered across the door and tin cans tied around the bottom.
The Doctor hardly noticed. He quickly opened the door and turned to Rose, manic grins spreading across both their faces, then he swept her into his arms and carried her inside as he kicked the door shut behind them.
The Eleventh Doctor then turned to the others. "Well, I believe that's our cue. Come on you lot, it's time we were off. The universe waits for no one."
Mickey, Martha, Sarah Jane, Jack and Donna filed into the TARDIS, then Eleven turned to Jackie and Pete. "It's been a pleasure," he smiled. "And I hope to drop in again someday to meet my future nieces and nephews," he added with a cheeky wink, then boarded the TARDIS, not feeling like he was the one who had lost in this situation, but was one who had also gained a family on this day.
Inside the other TARDIS, the Doctor had moved over to the console with Rose still in his arms, and with a level of skill he was quite proud of, managed to set them into the Vortex using just his foot.
Jackie and Pete stood arm in arm as they watched the two ships dematerialize simultaneously, each heading to different universes but both on their way to new adventures. Then Pete took Jackie by the hand and walked her to the dance floor as the two shared one last dance. Jackie thought to herself that she had once never dreamed she would actually approve of who her daughter had just married — he wasn't even human. But oddly enough, she had never been happier for Rose in her life.
The Doctor proceeded to carry Rose down the corridor to their new bedroom. This was yet another human custom he was more than willing to follow. As they reached it, they were both stunned to see that the simple door leading to the room was now replaced with an elegant, wooden door carved with Gallifreyan symbols. Rose reached out her hand and reverently traced the carving.
"What does it say?" she asked in wonderment.
The Doctor swallowed heavily. "It's both our names entwined together," he answered, his voice filled with awe.
He stepped into the room and gently set her down. Their amazement continued to build as they took in the sight that lay before them. The small, simple room had been transformed into a luxurious sanctuary. There was a large, wooden, four-poster bed, and the same ornate carving that was on the door was also gracing the headboard. It was draped in a sumptuous, burgundy duvet embossed with golden accents. There was a large fireplace on the opposite wall with a cozy yet elegant loveseat in front, the fabric matching that of the duvet. A large wardrobe stood in the corner filled with Rose and the Doctor's clothes side by side. It was the picture of domesticity, the Doctor thought to himself, and he couldn't be more pleased with the feeling it gave him. Through an arched doorway, they could see a luxurious en suite with a large, marble tub. The ceiling in the room didn't look like an enclosure, but rather an open, night sky. The Doctor recognized the stars twinkling above them as the constellation of Kasterborous.
"This is amazing," Rose said in astonishment.
The Doctor agreed. "It looks like the TARDIS wanted to give us a wedding present of her own."
He turned to Rose and took both her hands in his. "There's still one more ceremony to attend to, if you're ready," he said in a soft tone. "But if you'd rather, we can wait. We don't have to do anything you're not ready for."
Rose let out a deep breath and reached up to cup the side his face. "I'm ready," she assured him. "I feel like I've waited my whole life for this moment. I want to be bonded with you," she told him solemnly.
With a look of intense desire, he ran his hand down her arm to her hand where he laced their fingers together, and then led her over to sit on the bed.
"We should get comfortable," he told her as he shrugged out of his jacket, removed his tie, and toed off his trainers.
His movements were slow, calculated; and Rose felt a wave of heat flash through her entire being. Then he knelt in front of Rose and gently removed her elegant heels. He looked up at her, then rose to sit beside her on the bed. She reached up to remove the veil from her head, but he caught her hands with his and gently placed them back in her lap.
"Let me," he said softly, and began removing the veil. As it came off, her hair softly cascaded down her shoulders. He ran his fingers through the golden strands, then swept it back from the side of her neck. He leaned in and ghosted his lips across her bare shoulder, then up to the pulse point of her throat. He placed a gentle kiss on the sensitive skin behind her ear, then moved forward to gently draw her lobe into his mouth, sending shivers of pleasure down her spine. He continued to trail kisses across her jaw line, then she turned her face towards him as he captured her lips with his own.
They slowly pulled back, breathing heavily and resting forehead to forehead. The Doctor eased back to look into her eyes, his own dark and somber. "Rose, do you remember the night we first arrived here together and I told you about my travels when we were apart and about the Planet of the Ood with Donna?" She nodded, and encouraged him to go on. "There was something I didn't tell you about that trip because it was easier for me not to think about it. When Donna and I were leaving, Ood Sigma told me something that was hard for me to put out of my mind. He said that my song would end soon. I tried not to think about what seemed to be an ominous prediction. But now I finally know exactly what he meant. It didn't mean I was going to die. It meant I was going to live. For so long my song has been one of sorrow and loss and pain, and that is the song that's ending. But ours is just beginning…"
Too overcome with emotion to speak, Rose decided to convey her feelings in the only language she could manage, and she kissed him once more, deep and soulful.
She eased back, then smiled softly as she looked down and swept her thumb across the ring on the Doctor's finger. "It suits you," she said, her eyes shining. She looked up at him and whispered, "Look at the inside."
He removed the ring. Dark eyes went wide as he gazed upon the inscription. It was Rose's name in Gallifreyan, just as he had placed his own upon hers "Where did you get this?" he asked in wonder.
"The TARDIS. It was another gift from her."
He nodded, still in disbelief. Then he slipped the ring back on his finger and looked up at her, gazing deeply into her eyes. "And now I believe it's finally time to tell you this."
He took a deep breath and leaned forward to whisper into her ear sacred words that were for her alone. He was pledging himself to her in this moment. He had already done so earlier in the traditional Earth way, but with this his vow was now sealed.
As Rose heard the beautiful and powerful language being spoken to her, it was as if a final piece of the puzzle she didn't know had been missing finally fell into place. Something about his name resonated deep within her, and their connection now felt complete.
He pulled back and looked into her eyes once more. For a moment, Rose was at a loss for words. When she finally did speak, the only words she could manage somehow didn't seem appropriate, but it was all she could think of at the time.
"I…," she swallowed and tried again, "I don't think I can pronounce it properly."
The Doctor smiled gently and cupped her face. "It's just enough that you know. My name is now your name. It belongs to you. And you are the only one I will ever share it with."
He took her hand and threaded his fingers through hers. "Are you ready, Rose?" he searched her face for any sign of hesitation.
She met him with a steady, certain gaze. "I'm ready."
He took a deep breath, closed his eyes and reached up to place his fingers on her temples. Rose gasped as an overwhelming sensation of love and passion surged through her. She realized it was the Doctor's very emotions she was feeling.
"Relax, Rose," he whispered. "Just let it happen."
She concentrated on her own feelings of love for the Doctor and focused on imparting those feelings to him. He took a sharp intake of breath, and she knew in that moment he had felt it.
Gradually, she began to see a shining, silver thread stretch out before her, and she instantly sensed it as the Doctor's essence.
"Come to me, my love," she heard his voice echo inside her. "Join with me."
Rose imagined herself reaching for it and as she did, her own golden thread stretched out towards him. The two met in a burst of radiance, and suddenly she could see all of Time before her. All that is, all that was, what could be, what must not – she could see it all. This was the burden of the Time Lord, but one he would no longer carry alone. She would now carry this with him.
With their bond created, they were now both able to see their joined timeline stretched out before them, and Rose knew what the Doctor had said was right: they were destined to be together. He had sensed it before, but now there was no doubt as the confirmation was revealed to them. From the very beginning of Time, they were always meant to be. The presence of Bad Wolf contained in the heart of the TARDIS had been waiting to unite Rose with him from the day she was born. She now fully understood the weight of what the Doctor meant when he told her the night he proposed that what they had was sacred.
The Doctor himself was overwhelmed by it all, as he had never experienced the depth of a connection like this. His trembling hands slipped away from her temples, no longer needing physical contact to remain connected.
Rose found herself being drawn inside the Doctor's mind…
Thoughts and images stretched out in front of her. Different faces of men passed before her one by one before finally coming to the Ninth that she recognized and first fell in love with, and then blending into the Tenth. Each a different face, but all the same man: Her Doctor. She then found herself being pulled back further and further to where his memories began. The Doctor was showing her his life.
She saw his childhood on Gallifrey, was there when he was first taken to the Academy, and stood beside him as he looked into The Untempered Schism as the yearning to run was birthed inside him. There was so much about his nature that she now understood because she could feel it. She saw his early friendship with the Master, and then the Master's madness that turned them to enemies. She saw his family and his beloved Susan, and the day he took the TARDIS and began his life of exploration.
Then there was darkness – such darkness. The Time War had begun. She saw it all. He held nothing back as he opened his heart to her and poured out his soul. She stood with him on the front lines at the fall of Arcadia, and felt his anguish and sorrow at the loss of his people as he watched his planet burn. Then the loneliness and the emptiness that permeated his soul as he was left alone – the last of his kind. The lone survivor, but not by choice. He had told her that he was full of anger and revenge when they first met, but now she truly understood and felt the depth of that. He was a broken man.
But then she saw a light rising in him like the beginning of a sunrise as hope began to grow in him once more. He showed her the source of that light and was awed by what she saw. It was herself. The day he met her was the day he began to live again. He showed her how she changed him and took that empty place inside him and filled it with love. She also felt his fear, and understood why he had once held back with her. He had lost everything in his life and was terrified of getting too close and then losing her as well.
Then suddenly she found herself looking back on that terrible day at Canary Wharf, but this time she saw it through his eyes. She felt the anguish that was tearing at his soul as he slipped that disc around her neck and sent her away, but knew losing her in that way was more bearable than watching her die. That was something he could not survive. But then he allowed himself a momentary flicker of hope that just maybe they could make it through all this when she braved her way back to him and declared she would never leave him. But it was over all too soon as she watched herself slowly losing her grip and then falling towards the void. She was experiencing it from his perspective. The terror, the desperation, but then the relief of knowing she was at least safe. Then came the loneliness and the emptiness once again as she felt that awful moment at the white wall from his side.
She experienced it all; the brokenness he was feeling inside when he first met Donna. He tried to carry on, but she was constantly in his thoughts; through his travels with Martha, and then Donna once again.
But then came that moment, that glorious moment when he first laid eyes on her again at the end of that abandoned street. She was all he wanted in the universe and he was desperate to get to her, so he ran flat-out. It was then that he resolved to never be separated from her again. Whatever it took, he would keep her by his side.
The images of his past memories began to fade, and Rose found herself standing atop a hill covered in lush, red grass looking down on the Shining World of the Seven Systems. She stood overlooking The Citadel of the Time Lords standing on the continent of Wild Endeavour, between the Mountains of Solace and Solitude. Beside her stood the Doctor, wearing a Gallifreyan robe much like the one she now found herself wearing. They stood side-by-side – a Time Lord and his Lady. He turned his gaze to her, his eyes ancient and fathomless – qualities her own eyes now possessed.
"I wanted to share this with you. I wanted you to be able to see. This is the only place Gallifrey exists now. Inside my mind," he told her solemnly.
She turned to face him and took both his hands in hers. "No, it exists inside both of us now. And we'll carry it with us forever. And one day its memory will be passed to our children, and they will carry it inside them as well. They will know of their heritage. Gallifrey will never truly be gone. It will live on and never be forgotten."
He wanted to tell her in that moment how much he loved her, but no words were necessary because she knew. The both knew in a much deeper way than ever before.
"Come with me," she said, her voice hushed yet unwavering as she took him with her back into her own mind.
She wanted him to know her as completely as she now knew him. He once told her that if there was anything she didn't want him to see, to just imagine putting it behind a door. But she wanted no secrets from him. She wanted to fully reveal herself to him as he had done for her. She opened every door and tore down every barrier until nothing stood between them.
She felt him slowly, tenderly viewing her life as if reverently turning the pages of a book. She held nothing back, just as he had done for her. She showed him the emptiness of her life before she met him and the completion that he brought her. The love she had for him right from the start which only intensified with each passing day.
He felt her own pain at their separation and her agony as she beat against the wall dividing them and cried out in anguish to be taken back. But then he saw her unwavering determination to find him again. He stood with her as she fought through setbacks and disappointment, coming so close to finding him again only to miss him, or finding herself in a world where everything had gone wrong and he had died.
But she pressed on and persevered until they were finally reunited. And he felt such love. A love that would sacrifice all things in order to be with him, and he was overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all.
She was his and he was hers, and now they were complete. So perfectly complete in a way they had never known.
They slowly withdrew from each other's minds and it felt like landing softly after soaring through the sky. Slowly, they both opened their eyes and their gaze locked on one another. For a moment, neither one spoke a word. No words were needed, as they could both now sense what the other was feeling. But Rose felt she might burst from the torrent of love surging through her and had to utter those words that were coursing through her very being.
"I love you," she breathed. The Doctor's eyes were wide with awe as her words came forth. Rose then recognized that the words she had spoken were in the Doctor's native language, and through their bond, it was now her language, too.
The Doctor took her face in his hands as he kissed her with all the passion and fervor that was coursing through him. She returned the kiss with equal intensity.
After several moments, he pulled back and traced his fingers across her lips then down her neck and over to her shoulder as his other hand came up to cup her face and gently caress her cheek. "Oh, Rose," he exhaled deeply, "My Rose. I love you so much."
She brought her face closer to his and her breath ghosted across his lips as she whispered the words she had spoken earlier that night. "Show me."
He may never be able to put into words just how much he loved her, but he didn't need words because he could show her. Oh, he could show her. And he took her in his arms and proceeded to do just that.
It was over a week later before they finally made it to the planet Barcelona where they planned to spend their honeymoon, but neither one was in a hurry. They had all of Time at their command. They now had forever. And forever was just beginning.