Rose curled into his body as he slept. He breathed in steadily, and she felt the steady syncopation of his hearts against her chest. She nuzzled his chest and he sighed contentedly in his sleep, and eventually she drifted asleep as well, his arm draped over her body, holding her close.
She awoke the next morning and knew immediately that he was no longer sleeping. She could feel his eyes staring at her, as if he were attempting to will her awake. Finally, she opened her eyes, blinked several times as they adjusted, and beheld the Doctor, shirtless and lying on his side, head propped up by his arm.
He smiled widely.
"Mmmm, very," she replied, pushing herself off of the bed and stretching.
"That is a rather excellent view from over here, I must say," he said as he stared at her form.
She leaned in to kiss him, skin touching skin, but she sensed that somehow he was preoccupied. She brought her hands down from his head where her fingers were tangled in his beautifully mussed hair, and placed them on his shoulders.
"What's wrong?" she whispered into his ear.
"I-" he broke off. "Nothing. Everything is perfect. I promise."
"Liar," she whispered again huskily, as if she meant it as a seduction.
He was silent for a moment and they broke apart so that he could look at her, her skin perfectly flushed and glowing, her blonde hair unkempt and trailing down her back. This, this right here was perfect. It was everything. It was more than he had ever dared to ask for, and certainly more than he deserved.
"Yes?" she said taking one of his hands in hers. That itself was comforting. It was an ancient gesture between the two of them, their first physical sign of friendship and affection.
"I see this here, you and me, together like this, waking up together, living together…being married…and, I suppose…I suppose just worry."
"You're thinking about what I think that you're thinking about?"
"If what you're thinking about is the fact that even though I know you mean 'forever' when you say it…one day I'll still be alone. One day you won't be here. One day I'll have to wake up again in this bed, maybe with this face, maybe with a new one…and you won't be there. And it won't be that I'm just alone. I can do alone. I don't prefer it, but I can do it. I've been alone my entire life. It's that…I won't ever have this again—I won't have you. And that day is so terrifying, that to think of it, even with you here right in front of me, makes me think of…that. It makes me think of that. You being gone, that is."
She looked at him with her head tilted and her mouth plucked into a crooked, tragic smile.
"I don't want you to worry about that."
"But I do. You're my wife. You're Rose Tyler. You're my best friend."
"But I don't think that you should worry about it, Doctor."
"How can't I?"
She brought her hand up to his cheek and grazed her fingers there.
"Because you brought me back here."
"And you said that it was impossible. That I'm here is an impossible thing. And what was it that you once told me? 'Never say "never ever"'? I'm not saying that I'm going to live to the end of time. And we certainly aren't going to find some magical plant on some weird planet that will make me live until I'm 500 years old, but you and I have a funny way of stumbling into the impossible. So, yes, today my days are still numbered. But don't raise a white flag yet, yeah? You wouldn't have come to get me if there wasn't some kind of hope for some kind of future."
That right there was why he married this woman. That was why he asked twice when he first asked her to come with him. It's why he never stopped looking for her. It's why everything felt so perfect and peaceful when he was with her. It was because she was worth it. She was worth everything. He'd burnt a sun for her before to say goodbye, before he'd found a way back. She was worth any amount of suffering he would ever feel, and she was even worth the loneliness he would feel if he was ever without her.
He brought her towards him, guiding her body with his hand on the small of her back. He kissed her deeply, exploring the recesses of her mouth, his lips moving so passionately that they were almost rough. She melted into the kiss, returning it, but letting herself get kissed. She felt like she was getting marked somehow, branded as his, and she wasn't going to steal his moment just now. Later, though, she'd give him a taste of his own medicine when he'd least expect it.
"And if we fail?" he said when they broke their kiss. They were both breathing heavily and their hearts were beating wildly.
"You and I? Shiver and Shake? Nah."
"But if we do?"
"Then we have to love each other super hard in the meantime, just in case."
"Brilliant, you are," he said, beaming.
"Just don't give up, yeah? You're the Doctor; giving up isn't your style. And now you've got me, too. I don't take too kindly to failure either."
"I only take the best."
"Yeah, you've taken the best several times in the past few nights."
"Oi! Cheeky minx."
"I love you, you know. We can't give up on each other."
"You're impossible to give up on, Rose Tyler," he said. "And Rose?"
"I love you, too."
A/N: Thank you to all who have read/reviewed/and favorited along the way. I hope you enjoyed it. There's a possibility of a sequel to this one, but I still have work out the logistics of it first, so don't expect it immediately. As always, thanks for reading, and please review!