A/N Last chapter! All done! Sorry, I knew some of you wanted this to continue to Rose travelling in the TARDIS and meeting River and Amy and Rory, but I'm ending it here, and the rest is up to your imagination :3
Thank you so much to everyone who reviewed, added this story to their alerts or favourites. Thankyou to everyone who read this until the end. I was not expecting such a brilliant reaction. You people are AMAZING.
I'll reply to every review on this chapter, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this last piece :)
She couldn't move; couldn't take her eyes off the spot where the Doctor had disappeared in a flash of brilliant gold light, right in front of her eyes. She couldn't speak, couldn't think. Nothing was making sense. She just kept her eyes on the same spot, expecting him to reappear at any minute with a big grin and a laugh.
She wasn't sure how long she stood there for. It could have been five seconds, it could have been five hours. Time had never mattered when he was with her.
Her lips still tingled from his kiss, and she subconsciously moved her hand up to her face, touching her lips softly. She swore she could still feel the weight of his hands on her. But no, there was nothing there. He was gone.
She barely noticed when Pond walked up beside her silently.
"Come with me." He said softly. "I want to show you something."
He brought her to the just outside Torchwood base, where people were beginning to get over the shock from the mild earthquake sending the Leanaí back had caused. They were picking themselves off the ground, straightening rubbish bins, laughing nervously, calling their familes to see if they were alright. Twittering and blogging and texting the events to their friends.
"He saved all these people." Pond said beside her.
She still didn't look at him, staring straight ahead. She felt the odd urge to run back into Torchwood, to see if he had come back.
"People who you've never met; people who you never will. People with families and friends and jobs- he saved them all. The Universe can continue to grow, because of him."
She didn't make any indication that she had heard him, and Pond stopped talking, studying her face instead. Tears were still caught on her thick lashes, causing her eyes to glitter in the light from the streetlamps. He couldn't believe it had been less than a day that the Doctor had come back from the bomb site.
His breath caught in his throat, knowing the pain Rose must be feeling. He knew there was nothing he could say to make it better. He could tell her that the Doctor had been dead from the moment the explosion went off, and that the few extra hours he had got to spend with her had been a gift. But it wouldn't help, he knew.
He looked at the broken girl beside him and the guilt crashed through him, almost sending him to his knees. He closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose. It was his fault.
But wait- one of the Doctor's last acts had been to tell him that he wasn't at fault. Because the Doctor knew how it felt to feel all the guilt and self hatred of the Universe. And he hadn't wanted Pond to feel like that.
Rose had helped him, once upon a time. When he was full of anger and blood and revenge, she had fixed him. Took away all the self hatred caused by the Time War and replaced it all with love. And he needed that again, he really did. He needed her, perhaps more than ever.
It wasn't a good time to ask, but would it ever be? Rose had lost someone she loved completely, But he knew if he didn't ask her he would regret it for the rest of his horribly long life.
It was time to be selfish.
"Come with me." He said.
She looked at him for the first time, confusion in her eyes.
"I mean in the TARDIS. Come with me again. All of Time and Space, remember? I need you with me." He admitted.
He held his hand out to her, a pleading look on his face.
Rose shook her head, looking straight ahead again, watching the people of Earth get on with their lives with no idea what had just been sacrificed for them.
"It won't be the same." She whispered, speaking for the first time since she had lost him. Her voice sounded hollow. "Too much has changed."
Her eyes glazed over, remembering a life with the Doctor. No matter what he had said, Domestic life had suited him. Her mouth lifted at the corner as she remembered the first time they had babysat Tony and the Doctor had fallen asleep on the couch with Tony snuggled into his chest. They were supposed to have forever. They could have done so much.
She squeezed her eyes shut to prevent the tears that threatened to appear. Oh, Tony. He would be heartbroken.
"It will be different." Pond spoke again and she opened her eyes, sparing a glance in his direction.
His hand was still outstretched, though she still didn't take it. He was looking at her with such intensity that she almost looked away, but she managed to hold his gaze. His green eyes bore into her, imbued with the knowledge of hundreds of years. How old was he now? How long had it been for him? She didn't even know him anymore, how could she possibly go with him?
"It will be so different." He continued, and as he spoke she remembered her room in the TARDIS, soft and pink and warm. She remembered running for their lives, the excitement and the adrenaline that came with being with him. She remembered all the possibilities, any star that ever was.
"It could be better." A small, pleading smile graced his features, and she remembered, such a long time ago, when the Doctor took her hand and timidly asked if she was going to come with her again, even though he had changed.
"Will we find out?" He finished.
"Absolutely the same man." A voice from that Christmas all those years ago echoed in her head, and she looked at the man in front of her with his hand out to her, giving himself to her completely.
"Do anything, Rose. Anything you want. Be brilliant. But don't forget me, okay?"
She wouldn't. She couldn't, not ever.
But she could still be brilliant.
She looked up at the Doctor. New face, new man, but still the Doctor.
She took his hand.