AN: My first foray into proper noncanon 10Rose. Although in my head, it is canon. Kind of. Nearly. Oh, you'll see what I mean. For those of you not so geeked up on reruns and DVDs, this comes near the end of The Christmas Invasion.

Disclaimer: No, not mine.

On the Fifth Day of Advent

Somewhere amid the crackers, the turkey, the TV blaring out Christmas specials and Jackie getting ever tipsier, the Doctor managed to slip out on to the balcony. Rose watched him go, and immediately fear rushed through her. Was he going? Going for good? He was a new person, after all, maybe he wanted to be left alone, and maybe he wanted to leave. And she would have to let him.


Rose turned around, startled. Mickey was looking at her, a sad smile in his eyes.

"What?" she asked, feigning confusion.

"Go after him. Jackie won't mind, so long as you don't go go without saying bye."


"Rose, c'mon, be honest just for one second. Do you really think he'd just leave?"


"He needs you, Rose. Just go, it'll be fine."

Rose bit her lip, torn for a moment between the sudden need to run after the Doctor, and the ever-weakening sense of duty that was compelling her to stay with her mum for Christmas and stay with Mickey for good. Mickey, sensing her dilemma, leaned over until their faces were almost too close.

"Rose," he said, looking right at her. Somehow Rose found it hard to meet his eyes. Mickey hesitated, and then dropped a swift kiss on her lips. "Honest. Go after him. He needs you."

Rose shut her eyes, unable to speak, and nodded briefly. She waited for Jackie to be out of sight, and then quickly made a dash for the corridor. Turning at the door, she caught a glimpse of Mickey sitting at the table, alone. Rose felt sure that he thought she wasn't watching, otherwise he would never have let his cheerful face slip off so easily.

"Sorry, Mickey," she murmured inaudibly, before slipping out on to the stairwell and shutting the door softly behind her


"Doctor?" Rose walked carefully towards where he was sitting on a lonely bench, her feet softly crunching and slipping on the not-really-snow. The Doctor looked up, a slow smile spreading across his face. He quickly scooted over and let Rose sit down next to him, the two of them sinking into a companionable silence. It was cold out, and dark; that was, Rose told herself, the only reason his arm snaked around her, the only reason why her head had somehow managed to lull into his shoulder.

It was minutes – hours – days – before either of them made any noise at all. Finally, the Doctor cleared his throat; Rose looked at him enquiringly. He looked, abashed, and she couldn't help but smile.

"So why'd you come out here, then?" she asked, when the silence had become not so much companionable as oppressive.

"Just needed to clear my head a bit, suppose," he shrugged. "You know, time to think. Why, what about you?"

"Me? I came outside to find you, of course," Rose replied simply.

"Yeah," the Doctor whispered, his mouth pressed up against her hair. "Of course Rose Tyler came to find me."

Rose shuffled round ever-so-slightly, staring up at him.

"If you want me to, I always will."

"Rose," he said, and now Rose couldn't stop herself from remembering the very similar situation just a few minutes ago. "I'll always want you for as long as you want to stay. "

Suddenly, everything seemed so simple. This wasn't wrong, their lips finding each other. There was nothing to consider as his hands rested on her hair and back. In fact, this was quite possibly the easiest choice had ever made. This would always have happened.

If kissing the Doctor was the easiest choice she had ever made, then pulling away was the hardest. His eyes followed her, hurt, and an unsaid question hung in the air.

"Doctor, I… I don't know why I just did that."

"No, it's – I mean I – look, it's fine."

"I can't…I guess I want to, you know I want to, but…"

"But," he sighed. "I know."

"It's just…you're still not sure who you are right now, and this could get so confusing, I'm a bit drunk, and then there's Mum, and – and Mickey, and we never even – I mean…Oh, I don't know what I mean."

"I do," he answered, smiling softly. "Look, Rose, you don't need to explain yourself. You're right, of course, you're absolutely right. We shouldn't just… Go there."

"Right," Rose said. She looked away. For a couple of seconds, she had been so sure that this was the right thing to do, the way that would hurt the least. Now she wasn't so sure. "Look, Doctor, let's just… Not talk about it. Not yet. We will, yeah? When we've both worked out who you are."

"Oh, absolutely," the Doctor agreed, nodding for emphasis. "Let's talk about it in a while. Now, come on!" He jumped up, pulling Rose to her feet. His smile was buoyant and infectious once more. "Shall we persuade Jackie to crack out the pudding?"

Rose nodded, laughing, and the two of them hurried back inside through the softly falling ash.

AN: Hmmmm. What do you think? Canon-compatible or not? Also, I wonder if the ending is clear enough. What I wanted the implication to be was that, once they got caught up in the adventures and stuff, they kind of ignored this moment, and put off The Talk again and again. And then Doomsday happened, and they never ever had the chance :'( Sniff. Now I'm sad.