Doctor Who property of the BBC. No copyright infringement intended.
Title and epigraph of each chapter comes from the imitable Tracy Chapman's "The Promise."
Rated T for language.


If you wait for me then I'll come for you
Although I've traveled far
I always hold a place for you in my heart
If you think of me If you miss me once in awhile
Then I'll return to you
I'll return and fill that space in your heart


God, when I was running toward him in that street. Was it only a few hours ago? I saw Donna first, and I knew from her smile that she was almost as happy for us as I was. Good bird, her. I'm so glad he had a friend, a real friend. The last thing I wanted was him to be alone. And then we started running, running like we always did, except this time it was towards and not away. Everything I'd been working for; all the failed jumps. All the near misses. There was this, like, disconnect between my head and my legs. They just kept moving and it felt so good to see him—him!—and I was trying so hard not to just start bawling like a weepy schoolgirl. But the universe seems determined that Rose Tyler and the Doctor be miserable.

Now here we are on Bad Wolf bloody Bay. His hand is holding mine like it has so many times before, right before he grins and his eyebrows raise a bit and he whispers "Run." 'Cept he's not smiling and there's nothing to run from. Got to admit, though, I want to start running. I could run from him. From mum. From the ocean. Into the ocean. Blasted, bloody ocean; so fucking cold, such wind. God, bleeding Norway.

Rose Tyler, the girl who manages to pack more joy and misery into 24 hours than any other being in the bleeding multiverse. Hell of a talent I've got. Could put a new spin on I'd Do Anything. How bad can I make you cry? Love lost and won and…what? Whatever this is. The saddest fucking song in the world.

I wanna crawl under a fluffy blanket, cover my head, and sleep like the dead. I wanna eat a pile of chips as big as me and down enough tea to drown out this goddamned wind and these goddamned waves and my mum's sad, pity-full sighs and his look. Yeah, I can hear his look, there's a buzz, a whir; it sets the little hairs on my arms on end. I can feel that look. Taste it. I had to look away 'cause I couldn't handle seeing it, too. Not right now, anyway. Not right now. Not when I can still hear the sound of the TARDIS leaving my life forever. Only so much buzzing and whirring I can take at once.

I can't look at him. I'm trying real hard to slow down my mind because if I let it start having a go it'll be Bad Wolf all over again and I might start glowing in the eyes. You know, I killed all the Daleks then. Genocide. "We saved the universe at a cost—and the cost was him." Then what the hell am I? Was he keeping me around 'cause he had to keep an eye on the genocidal maniac? I don't think so. God I hope not. Please. Please. I thought he loved me, too. I jumped through bloody universes to find him because I believed it. But he left me here with his genocidal double rather than take me with him so maybe…Maybe my mind burning up wouldn't be a bad thing. God. I need some chips. I need a bed.

I need the Doctor. And he's here. But he just left me on this beach. Again. But he's here, too. I want to look at him, really look at him. Maybe kiss him again, just to check. But I can't. Not yet. Not without my heart and brain exploding all over this beach. But I can't let go.