AN: I'm sorry, I know I'm bad at updating this. But honestly, when I only get one review per chapter, it's pretty disheartening. I've kind of put this story on the back burner, because people review my other stories, and it's so much more motivating to write when I know people are actually reading this and enjoying it. I have a lot of ideas for this, and now that I'm done with school, a lot more free time. But it's hard to feel inspired when it seems like no one is reading. So please please PLEASE review? It would mean so much. I was getting some good reviews a few chapters ago, so I don't know what happened.
Anyways, thanks to AyoTayo for reviewing.
The song for this chapter is Already Gone by Kelly Clarkson, and the pairing is 10.5/Rose with a little 10/Rose as well.
Rose stood on the beach, looking at the two Doctors standing on either side of her. She couldn't wrap her head around it; she didn't understand how her Doctor could even talk about leaving her here with this imitation Doctor.
"He's not you," she said, trying to hold back her tears.
"He needs you," the real Doctor said. "That's very me."
"You can't just leave me here!" Rose said. "Not after everything I did to find you again."
"Rose," the Doctor said. "Please. You know it has to be this way."
"No, I don't know that," she said angrily, the tears finally spilling down her cheeks.
The Doctor sighed. "We've all had a long day. Maybe you should get some sleep, and we can discuss this in the morning."
"Discuss what?" Rose asked. "There is nothing to discuss, you can't just drop me off in a parallel universe with some—some fake you! It's not fair," she whispered.
"You're tired," the Doctor said. "You need to rest."
"You won't go anywhere?" she asked.
"I promise," the Doctor said.
Jackie had rented a small cabin near the beach, and so Rose and Jackie headed towards the cabin, leaving the two Doctors behind.
Rose woke up early the next morning, an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach. She had avoided talking to the other Doctor, even though he'd ended up sleeping on the couch only a few feet away from her bedroom door in the tiny cabin. She needed to talk with her Doctor, the real Doctor. If she could just get him to understand that he couldn't leave her here, that she had done so much to get him back… maybe things would turn out all right.
She practically flew out the door of the cabin, not even eating anything, determined to find the Doctor. She ran down to the beach, but the TARDIS wasn't there. It was gone.
After spending quite some time searching, Rose gave up and headed back towards the cabin.
"There you are," Jackie said. "Did you get things sorted out? You're probably famished you ran off without eating. Well, I did make eggs and toast, and there's hot water on the stove for a cuppa tea."
"He's gone," Rose said. "The TARDIS is gone. He left." She was staring at the other Doctor when she said this.
"Oh, Rose," Jackie said.
"You knew, didn't you?" Rose said, still staring at the half-human Doctor. "You knew he was going to leave in the middle of the night, didn't you!"
"Let's take a walk," the half-human Doctor said.
Rose didn't say anything, but she stormed out of the cabin and headed towards the beach. She heard footsteps behind her, and knew the other Doctor was following her. She stopped abruptly, and turned around.
"How could you let him just run off like that?" she asked.
"He's -I'm— terrible at goodbyes," he said. "You know that."
"But he promised," she said, her voice breaking.
"He left this for you," the half-human Doctor said, pulling out a folded over piece of paper.
Rose took it, and walked off a little bit, opening the paper. It was a letter.
Dear Rose, it began.
I'm sorry I didn't keep my promise to you. I couldn't stay here any longer; I knew that staying here would only delay you moving on, which is something you have to do.
Rose folded the letter back up again, angrily stuffing it in her jacket pocket. How could he make decisions like that for her? She wiped the tears from her face, and pulled the letter out of her pocket, and read on.
You know that things never would have worked between us; we were always meant to say goodbye. I hope you know I never wanted to hurt you, but I don't have a choice this time. I wish this didn't have to end, there's so much I wanted to show you. There were so many things I wanted for us.
Rose stopped reading again. She walked over to the other Doctor, barely holding in her rage and her tears. "How could he do this to me? If he didn't want to hurt me then why did he do this? Why did he leave?"
"Rose," the other-Doctor said. "Did you read the whole letter?"
Rose sniffed. "No. But how is this supposed to be a comfort to me? All he says is how he didn't want to hurt me, but he had to, blah blah blah. Did I do something wrong? Is that why I left?"
The other-Doctor shook is head. "I wish I could explain. But it's not my place, he needs you to understand. Just… read the rest of the letter."
"Do you know what it says?" Rose asked.
"I haven't read it," he said. "But if there's one thing I know about myself, it's the feelings I have for you. He is no different, and I know he wouldn't leave without explaining."
Rose walked off again to have some privacy, and reluctantly read the rest of the letter.
I want you to know that this has nothing to do with you. You did absolutely nothing wrong, you couldn't have loved me better. I left because I'm selfish. I knew that if I stayed any longer, my resolve would have weakened, and I wouldn't have been able to leave you. Looking at you makes it so much harder to be selfless, because I have always been very selfish.
I wish I could give you the life you deserve, but I can't. He can. He is me, Rose, but he will grow old with you and he can give you everything you've wanted.
I love you.
Rose wasn't even trying to hold back her tears now, as she looked over at the other-Doctor. Maybe… maybe the Doctor had a point. She had worked so hard to find the Doctor again, and to lose him immediately broke her heat. But… maybe she wasn't losing him. It's true that this other Doctor had all the memories of her Doctor; the only difference was he would age like a human. Maybe this wasn't goodbye after all.
"Doctor," Rose said.
The other Doctor turned around to face her, but didn't say anything.
"I…" Rose trailed off, biting her lower lip, unsure of what to say. "I read the rest of the letter."
The Doctor remained quiet, waiting for Rose to say something more.
"I get it now," she said, sniffling a bit. "I get it." She wasn't sure of what else to say, so instead she kissed the other Doctor – her Doctor. She understood why the fully Time Lord Doctor had done this to her, and she was so grateful for the opportunity to have forever with her Doctor.
In the TARDIS, the Time Lord Doctor was fiddling with the controls, trying not to think about what he had just done. He knew he had made the right choice, but that didn't mean it was easy to live with. He had done many terrible things in his long life, and yet nothing hurt quite so much as what he had just had to do.
He loved her so much, which was why he had to let her go. She needed to move on; she deserved more than he could give her. He hated hurting her, and he knew leaving without saying goodbye, and breaking his promise like that would hurt her very much. But he knew if he had stayed a second longer, he wouldn't have been able to make the selfless choice he had to.
He knew he shouldn't have told Rose that he loved her in the letter, that was his other self's place. But he was a selfish man. His other self would be there to comfort Rose, to dry her tears, to laugh with her, to grow old with her, to love her. He got the forever Rose had promised the Doctor. And it hurt.
He knew Rose would be happy with his other self, more so than she could be with him, and that's why he had left. But after a lifetime of being selfish, it was so very hard to be selfless for once.
Rose would move on, and live a long, happy life with his other self. But he didn't think he could ever move on.
AN: Pretty pretty please review! Virtual cookies to all who review.