Yes, I started another one, naughty me, but I was re-reading thebadwitch13's lovely 'One Heart' [id:6452234] and just had to write something post-JE. This will probably be like my two-shot 'Hybrid', but digging into different aspects. Not sure where this will take me, but, let's find out! :D

The salt tang of the frigid Norwegian sea assaults his nostrils and all he can think about is how very weary he feels.

He knows he should be fighting back, protesting at his abandonment here. But the words never come.

Rose stands between them, a wall, and it is all he can do to stop himself from imploding with anger at his sire. That is he is so ready to just leave them here. Of course he would cast a clone alone aside, but his point it that it is Rose he is casting aside this time. The companion that time and time again came back to his side, ready to leave everything she had. Just for him.

And, now, what did had he done?

He threw that back in her face.

His fists begin to clench, but a look from her stilled him. Back and forth, her gaze went, deciding.

And underneath, the ultimate question. Would she stay with him?

Would she even want to have to babysit a genocidal basket-case?

Their eyes met for a second, but the Doctor's flicked quickly away. He could see on the Time Lord's face that he knew this was wrong. That he could keep her, keep them both, but all the while he, the half-human would always be there. Silently reminding him of what he was capable of.

And so he did what he always chose to do. Like the coward he was, he ran.

He didn't care if he simply ran because he couldn't say those words to Rose, in fear of her not saying it back. He fully well knew that she did. SHe said it first!

His thoughts were distracted, single heart thrumming as his sire gave him the chance to give what he himself wouldn't. What he couldn't do. Gently leaned towards Rose, noticing the confusion registering on her face, and -finally- said it.

And, no, he didn't expect her reaction: hands fisting tightly on his suit lapels, submerging him a a breath-taking kiss. Finally.

He dimly registered his sire's seething jealously -at himself, pathetic was that?- but it was all under the guise of a wistful smile that didn't quite reach his eyes.

But even as he lost himself in it, the scrunch of a rubber sole on sand and the clack of wooden doors made his breath catch. He really did it. Walked away.

Rose was the first to pull away, leaving disappointment to surge through him as she broke their connection, hurrying a few steps forward and then stopping, realizing there was no stopping him.

When the Doctor made a decision, that was it. Finished. Done. Finito.

They had each other now.

But as the TARDIS dematerialized -the sounds of the Universe echoing over the planes of the godforsaken beach- two hearts fractured that little bit more.