A/N Final chapter. Thank you so much to everyone who has read, reviewed and favorited this story!
The rain was coming down in heavy sheets as the Doctor exited the TARDIS and out into the Powell Estates. He held his hand up to his face to shield his eyes from the deluge as he scanned the area for Rose. He spotted her just a ways in front of him, sitting on the edge of the sidewalk with her knees drawn up to her chest and arms wrapped protectively around her. He felt a piercing pain in his chest at the thought that he had done this to her.
"Rose!" he called out as he ran towards her, his trainers splashing on the wet pavement. She didn't respond, and he didn't know if it was because she couldn't hear him in the pouring rain, if she was ignoring him, or if she was in a state of shock.
He reached where she was and knelt down in front of her. "Rose?" he asked in concern as he gently placed a hand on her shoulder.
Slowly, she lifted her gaze to him. Her eyes were glassy and un-focused. He quickly scanned her with the sonic screwdriver then reached his hand out and placed it on the side of her face.
"Rose, you're freezing. C'mon, we need to get you out of this rain and into the TARDIS." She didn't protest as he lifted her in his arms and carried her limp form back to the ship, while whispering his apologies to her.
Once inside, he went immediately through the bedroom and into the bathroom where he carefully placed her in the tub and turned on a gentle cascade of warm water, gradually increasing the temperature so her body could adjust.
With her condition improving, he went back into the bedroom and quickly changed out of his wet clothes, then grabbed a warm, fluffy robe hanging in the wardrobe and brought it back to the bathroom. He sat it beside the tub as he knelt to check on Rose. Her temperature had increased but her eyes remained distant. He stood up and turned off the water, then helped her stand. He grabbed a towel and gently dried her hair.
"You need to get out of these wet things, Rose," he said softly. "I've brought this for you to change into," he said, indicating to the robe. He sat the towel aside and took a step back. "So then, I'll just…leave you to it. I'll be right outside if you need anything." He turned to leave the bathroom, but as he was pulling the door shut he heard Rose's soft voice speaking for the first time since he'd found her.
"Could…could you help me?" she said, a slight tremor in her voice. Her fingers were at the buttons of her top, but her hands were shaking too badly to undo them.
The Doctor paused for just a moment, then crossed the room to her once more. He hesitantly reached for the buttons on her shirt as her eyes met his. "It's okay," she consented.
He saw such a look of trust in her eyes in that instant. Such a look of love. It took all of his control at that moment to keep from taking her in his arms and doing what he'd only ever dreamt of but never dared act upon. But they were both so mixed up right now. Rose needed him right now, but not in that way. Not yet. She was so vulnerable in this moment and he wasn't about to take advantage of that.
He reached out his hand and cupped the side of her face, gently stroking her cheek with his thumb. Then he began helping her get undressed, never taking his eyes off her face. In those few moments, he could feel the fiercely-guarded wall he'd built around his hearts, the one that began weakening the day he met Rose, now quickly crumbling to the ground.
Once out of the wet clothes, he wrapped her in the robe, then led her out to the bedroom and eased her into bed.
Rose laid back and placed a hand over her stomach. "Is…is the baby okay?" she asked quietly.
The Doctor placed his hand over hers. "The baby is fine," he assured her.
Rose turned her head away from him as she spoke. "But she's not, is she?" Rose continued sadly. "Because her father doesn't even want her." Her voice broke on the last words.
The Doctor let out a heavy breath. How could he have made her feel this way? He needed to explain to her that it wasn't that he didn't want this, it was that he did. He wanted it so much — too much, and that was what frightened him. He started to speak but Rose cut him off.
"But that's okay. She and I will be okay," Rose said, summoning her resolve. "My mum raised me on her own, and if she could do it, then so can I."
The Doctor shook his head sadly. "No, Rose. You don't understand."
"I do understand," she responded, her voice rising slightly. "You've made it perfectly clear. I don't know how you and I were able to get to this point in three years, but obviously we've lost whatever it was we had. And I don't know if we can ever get it back." She had to fight back tears at this point as she continued. "But we can't keep on like this. We have to…"
She was cut off as the Doctor placed his fingers on her lips.
"Shhh," he soothed. "Oh, Rose. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
He removed his fingers but his eyes remained trained on her lips. He leaned forward ever so slowly. Rose's heartbeat began to quicken as his lips came within inches of her own.
Just at that moment, she suddenly gasped in distress as she sat up and clutched her head with both hands.
The Doctor placed a hand on her back. "Rose? What's wrong?" he asked in alarm.
Rose wasn't able to hear him, however. She was suddenly overcome as stolen memories came rushing back to her like a tidal wave, all playing out in rapid succession before her.
'They keep on trying to split us up, but they never ever will.'
'I made my choice a long time ago, and I'm never gonna leave you.'
'Am I ever gonna see you again?'
'Doctor, it's me. I came back.'
'Basically, we've been building this travel machine. This Dimension Cannon. So I could…well, so I could…so I could come back.'
Suddenly, she remembered everything: Their separation, reunion, wedding, and the past amazing year they had spent together as husband and wife. And she remembered the event of two days prior that had caused them to temporarily lose all of that.
She was overwhelmed with happiness at having finally regained what was missing, and she began laughing uncontrollably.
"You…," she pointed at him and could barely get her words out between laughter, "you and your stupid bananas!"
The Doctor furrowed his brow in confusion.
"Rose?" he asked in concern.
"I remember!" she declared ecstatically. "I remember everything!" She threw her arms around him and hugged him tight. And if she had her way, she'd never let go.
Rose had proceeded to tell him everything, every detail, up to the incident that cost them their memories.
The Doctor sat beside her on the bed. Rose was still beaming. He finally turned to her, a look of sorrow in his eyes.
"But I still can't remember. What if I never will?" he asked in a broken voice.
Rose reached up and touched his cheek. "Then I'll remember for both of us. And I suppose I'll just have to make you fall in love with me all over again," she added, trying to keep her tone light but not able to hide the sadness in her tone.
He wanted to tell her that it wasn't possible for him to fall in love with her again, because he already was in love with her. And if he was finally honest with himself, he had been for a very long time. But he just gave her a half smile and gazed back down at the floor.
"Hey," she said gently, drawing his gaze back to her. "We'll be okay, you and me. And you know what else I remember? I remember what you said to me the day we exchanged vows. You said you weren't naïve enough to think that the universe wasn't going to throw challenges our way. But that we could make it through anything together, because you believed in us. Well, I believe in us, too. And we'll get through this," she assured him as she took his hand. "And maybe I could give those memories back to you. We could try. I have them all inside. Not only mine but yours as well. We've shared everything together through our bond, and I think I could show you when you're ready. But I know the fear that you're feeling right now. I understand it perfectly because I've felt it. You shared that with me, and I know the fear you had of losing me before you were finally able to open yourself up and dare to love again. I waited for you then, and I'll wait for you now — as long as it takes."
The Doctor released a deep breath. "Rose, I want to remember. I want to remember my life with you. All of it. I just don't know if…I'm ready for all of that yet," he told her honestly. He was having a battle inside between wanting to remember it all right that very moment, but still unable to escape that last bit of fear.
"It's okay," she assured him. "We have time. And I'm not going anywhere, yeah?"
He nodded and gave her a gentle smile as he reached up to tuck a lock of hair behind her ear. "You should get some rest, Rose. You've been through so much."
"Stay with me?" she asked. "I just…I just don't want to be alone. I need you with me."
He swallowed hard but nodded slightly. Once she'd gotten under the covers, he removed his jacket, then eased himself down beside her. She scooted closer to him and he put his arms around her. As Rose snuggled into his chest, he finally started to let himself believe that maybe, just maybe things were going to be alright.
The Doctor woke a few hours later, unaware that he had drifted off. The anxiety of the recent events had left him more mentally and physically drained than he had realized. He woke to find the room empty. Concerned, he made his way out of the bedroom and went to look for Rose.
He found her in the console room. The TARDIS had been put in flight and was drifting above the Earth. Rose stood at the open door gazing down at the planet below. She had changed into a long, silky nightgown in gleaming white. He just stood there watching her for a moment. She was breathtaking.
As he gazed at her, he was overcome with intense longing and desire, and he realized that trying to fight those feelings was a losing battle. He finally realized that this was one battle he wouldn't mind losing. He didn't want to fight this any longer, and at this moment he was finding it hard to come up with a reason why he ever had. She belonged with him. They were meant to be, he knew that now. It didn't feel wrong, it felt right.
He came up to her slowly and took her hand in his as she turned towards him and smiled.
"Hello," he said.
"Hello," she echoed, then turned her gaze back out the door and sighed dreamily. "I love the view from up here."
"How did you…?" he gestured to the console.
She smiled again. "You've been teaching me. My piloting skills aren't perfect yet. But then again, neither are yours," she teased lightly. He smiled.
"I woke up," she continued, "and I remembered I needed to call Mum and Dad and let them know everything was okay now." She smiled a bit sadly but with a spark of hope in her eyes as she amended, "Well, getting there, anyway. And I couldn't get back to sleep, so I came out here. The baby likes it here," she added, while idly stroking her stomach.
The Doctor reached out and placed his hand over hers on her stomach, then they both lifted their eyes and met each other's gaze. He reached up and trailed the backs of his fingers down her cheek. His eyes flicked from hers down to her lips as he slowly leaned forward. Rose remained still, letting him take the lead.
Slowly, gently, he brushed his lips over hers. It was almost like a spark of electricity shot through him at the contact. He pulled back slightly, as if considering whether to stop there or take things further. Rose reached up and ran a hand through his hair, and that was all the encouragement he needed. He couldn't have stopped himself if he wanted to. He was drawn to her beyond his control.
He leaned forward to capture her lips once more, and this time it was with more assurance. Rose parted her lips in invitation and he deepened the kiss — tongues stroking and caressing as they rediscovered each other and the depth of their shared passion.
They were both a little breathless as they broke the kiss. The Doctor smiled slowly and cupped her face with his palm.
"So that's what I've been missing," he said softly.
"That and…'other' things," Rose replied suggestively.
He reached down and took both her hands in his. "Rose, I'm ready. I need to remember. I want to remember."
She searched his face. "Are you sure?"
"Completely," he replied without hesitation.
Rose took a deep breath and closed her eyes as she felt the Doctor lowering all his barriers and inviting her in. A sigh escaped her lips as she joined her mind with his. It felt like coming home.
She shared everything with him, just as he had once shared his deepest thoughts and memories with her on their wedding night when they bonded. Every event of the past three years came flooding back to him.
There was no way for him to describe the feeling, other than completion. He once again felt whole.
The Doctor wrapped her in his arms and held her close. "Oh, Rose," he murmured. "Rose, Rose, Rose." He whispered her name like a mantra.
They both held tightly to each other, never wanting to let go. He pulled back slightly but didn't relinquish his hold on her as he gazed into her eyes.
"Your love has been the most incredible thing I have ever had in my entire existence. And I don't know why I fought it for so long back then, or how I could have gone back to feeling that way again. How could I ever forget?"
Rose smiled gently and brushed her lips softly against his. "Our love was never forgotten. Just momentarily hidden deep inside where it was kept safe. But it has always been there — right from the very beginning. And no one can ever take that from us."
Her words were cut off as his mouth descended on hers once more. He pulled back, still holding her face in his hands. Then he lowered one hand to reach in his pocket and brought out the rings. He slipped Rose's on her finger, then lifted her hand to his lips as he brushed a kiss across the ring. Then he placed his ring in her hand and she did the same for him.
Tears began to form in Rose's eyes and then spilled over down her cheeks. The Doctor raised his hand and gently brushed them away with his thumb, then pressed his lips to her forehead.
"Don't cry, love," he murmured against her skin. "After our goodbye at Bad Wolf Bay, I swore to myself I would never again make you cry." Then he dropped his gaze from her and spoke quietly. "But I've broken that promise, haven't I?"
Rose gave him a watery smile and touched his cheek. "But this time the tears are for a much different reason. And because I love you."
The Doctor exhaled deeply. "And I love you. Oh, Rose, I put you through so much these past few days because I used to be such a coward about letting myself admit my feelings for you. How could I have ever thought that it was better that way? Better if I held back with you? But what I told you just before we lost our memories was true: I have always loved you, Rose; even before I had the courage to say it. I love you more than I could ever put into words."
She took his hand and placed it on her stomach. "I know," she replied. "And you're forgiven."
He smiled and dropped to his knees in front of her. He placed a gentle kiss to her flat stomach that would soon swell with the evidence of the life inside. The evidence of their love. He lifted his hand and tenderly caressed her belly.
"I owe you an apology, too, little one," he said softly. "You tried to say hello and I shut you out. There's one thing you're going to have to learn about me. I can be a bit rude at times. Rude and not ginger, that's me."
Rose laughed softly and ran her fingers through his hair. He looked up and smiled at her, his eyes shining.
"But thankfully for me, your mum loves me anyway."
He stood and kissed Rose once more. Then he pulled back and gave her a sultry look, his eyes twinkling. "As your doctor, it's my professional opinion that you need to come back to bed."
Rose tilted her head to the side and appeared to consider this for a minute, then replied. "But I just don't seem to be tired at the moment," she sighed, then wrapped her arms around his neck and leaned closer. "But there are other things we could be doing."
He arched a brow and smiled seductively. "And just what did you have in mind?"
"Well," she said slowly, as she ran her hands down his chest, "I could tell you, but it would be much more fun to show you." She then loosened his tie and unbuttoned his collar as she brought her face closer to his, her breath ghosting across his lips as she spoke. "And considering it's been two days, I think you need to make up for lost time, Time Lord."
A low growl rumbled deep in his chest as she grazed her lips across his exposed neck. "Your wish is my command," he replied, his voice low and eyes dark with desire as he reached down and swept her up in his arms. He then proceeded to carry her back to their room where they wasted no time in making up for what had been lost, while celebrating what was now found.
Six months later, Destiny Rose Tyler was welcomed into the world — a child born of a great love. A love that spanned the galaxies and the very universe itself. A love that would stand the test of Time and become legendary. A love that would never be forgotten.