Author's Note: It is my opinion, that after the Doctor becoming half human and Rose having matured from a young girl to a woman and then from everything that she must have witnessed traveling through the void, that they would now each have a better understanding from where the other was coming from whenever an argument would arise. I am really straying from my usual humor here but it will pop up again towards the end and you are guaranteed a happy ending. I hope you enjoy my resolution to the conflict that the Doctor and Rose have experienced over Reinette. This was the only way that I could accept his leaving Rose behind on the spaceship, I hope that this works for you too.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything in relation to Dr. Who.

Chapter 4 Resolution

The Doctor is frantically running up and down searching the halls, not stopping for one moment, until he finally finds her. "Rose!" he calls out as she ignores him and continues to walk down the hall. "Rose?" he calls out again more gently.

She sniffles softly and answers, "I'd rather be alone right now, Doctor."

Although every instinct is screaming at him to run away, he has sworn to himself that he will never abandon her again in any way, shape or form. "I know that you must be upset but it's not what you think, Rose." He quickens his pace to try to keep up with her. "I swear."

She continues walking away from him and doesn't even turn around as she replies in a flat voice, "I'm not upset, Doctor. I'm fine. I'm always fine."

Alarm settling in his heart at the emptiness of her words, he quickly sprints down the rest of the hall and grabs her by the shoulders. He looks around and spies a broom closet. "Quickly, in here before somebody sees us."

She attempts to pull free but his grip is unrelenting. "What do you think you're doing, Doctor?" she hisses.

"We need privacy, Rose, and it's doubtful that anyone's going to look for us in here," he replies as he locks the door for added protection. He turns around to find her leaning against a shelf unit with her arms crossed protectively across her chest. Her eyes are slightly reddened and moist while the rest of her face remains stoic.

"What's this all about, Doctor?" she asks quietly.

"I know what you saw or what you think that you saw, but nothing happened between me and Miss Poisson."

She shakes her head in disbelief and accuses, "You mean like before?"

The Doctor states firmly, "I mean exactly like before," before quickly backpedaling, "except for the snog. I didn't snog Miss Poisson. I did snog Reinette but I didn't enjoy it!"

Rose snorts in disgust, "That why you went and bragged about it then?"

The Doctor looks a bit caught out as he admits, "Okay, I did enjoy it but not for the reasons that you think I did! It wasn't a kiss of love or passion, Rose. It was fascination."

"Fascination?" questions Rose, still very disbelieving but instantly experiencing her own fascination at the anticipation of the answer she's about to receive.

"Yes," answers the Doctor, grateful that she appears to be listening with keen interest. "She just…she just fascinated me completely, every aspect of her life. She was a woman who was born in a time where women basically had no options much less limited ones. It may not be acceptable by 21st century standards, but she did the best she could with what she had been given and she excelled in the most marvelous ways!"

"Yes, I know," remarks Rose sadly. "She was an actress, artist, musician, dancer, courtesan and a fantastic gardener!" She laughs bitterly. "You know, it wasn't that long ago that I would've made some nasty crack like 'Gardening? How perfect for a ho-"

"Rose Tyler!" warns the Doctor playfully. "You are so much better than that now." He smiles kindly at her. "Besides, that wasn't the point that I was trying to make," he rubs the back of his neck, "or at least not all of it."

She glances up at him wearily. "The point that I was trying to make is that I was fascinated by her brilliance and her determination and her potential. Potential that was forced to be wasted due to the constraints of her time. I was astounded by what she had accomplished on Earth, Rose. I can only imagine what she would've done once she explored the stars. That's why I was so fascinated with her."

Rose's gaze is far off as if she's recalling a distant memory. "Yeah, I remember. The look that you would have on your face when you talked about her, it was indescribable. Even in the way that you would talk about her, like she was the most amazing thing that you had ever seen in all of your lives." She suddenly looks at him, both her gaze and tone hard. "And then you lost her and you wouldn't say anything and you acted like you had nothing." She reveals all of her heartbreak at that memory in one telling glance before looking off again. "You made me feel… like I was nothing."

The Doctor's eyes widen in horror and he is rendered speechless at the amount of pain that he can see Rose still holds in her heart. "We didn't have to be lovers, Doctor, but we were still best mates. I could understand you choosing the uncrowned Queen of France over a shop girl with no A- levels but you wouldn't even talk to me. You wouldn't let me in and as much as you hurt me by doing that, I still hurt for you and I just wanted to help." Her tone betrays the slightest trace of anger, "Instead, you just dismissed me as if I was nothing but the help."

In the barest whisper she finishes, "You made me feel like nothing."

"No. No, no, no, no, no, Rose Tyler. You are not now nor will you ever be nothing. Not to me." He tugs at his hair in distraction in an effort to force himself to focus and think how he can relate everything he needs to say to put this situation right, to end this last doubt in their relationship once and for all.

He takes a deep breath and vows, "You are everything to me, Rose Tyler. It's true, Reinette fascinated me but she never captivated me, not like you do. She filled up brief moments of time in my life but you are my life."

Old habits die hard and he averts his gaze as he opens up completely to her. "She held my attention, but you…you hold my heart. And back then…you held both of them. And that scared me, absolutely terrified me. Always the coward, me. I wasn't just jumping through a time window, I was running away. I was running away from you and everything that you made me feel."

His laugh comes out bitter and his tone resentful as he throws his arms up in the air and confesses, "The great renegade allowed centuries of Gallifreyan mores and teachings to influence his behavior long after his exile! It was just too deeply ingrained in me to break the pattern of keeping my distance emotionally," he takes her hand, "if not physically. It's what kept me silent from telling you how much I love you and how much I will always love you. It's what kept me running from you when all I've ever wanted to do is run to you and with you."

The intensity of his gaze rivals that of The Oncoming Storm for power but it is the passion and plea in that one look that draws Rose to him. "I don't want to be that man anymore, Rose Tyler. I want to be the man that you need me to be."

As she moves closer to him, she cups his cheek and gently traces his jaw line with her fingers. "You already are," she tells him softly. "I know how hard it still is for you to open yourself up to me but you still manage to do it. You share everything with me, Doctor. Your body, your thoughts," she places her other hand over his chest, "and your one beautiful heart." She stares down at his chest while she fingers his lapels. "And until today, I didn't have any real doubts that you wouldn't stay."

He places his fingers under chin and tips it up forcing her to meet his gaze. "Oh, you don't ever need to have any doubts about that at all, Rose Tyler. I'm not going to leave you. The truth be told, I'm never letting you go, Rose." He slides his hands down to her waist and tightens his grip swearing vehemently, "Not ever. Even if you try to leave, I'll be right behind you and if this conversation has proven anything, it's proven that there's nobody more expert at running than me."

He leans in and rests his forehead against hers. "There is nothing and no one that will ever separate us again, Rose. Take it from The Oncoming Storm," his voice darkening while his eyes carry a steely glint, "I wouldn't want to be the thing or person that is foolish enough to try."

Her response is immediate and reminiscent of Bad Wolf Bay. She yanks him to her by his lapels and brings their lips crashing together in a kiss filled with longing, passion and most important of all, love. Rose is the first to pull away and leaving a string of kisses along his jaw line, whispers, "Doctor, let's go home."

The Doctor hums, "Mmmmm," distractedly in response. When Rose continues to stare smugly at him, he snaps out of his dreamlike state and blurts, "Yes, of course! After all, there's no place like home!" He spins around and turns the door knob. "I'll just…I'll just…I'll just not open the door, shall I?"

Rose comes up behind him and peers over his shoulder. "The lock's probably broken. We can get out with the sonic, right?"

"Yes, right, absolutely, we are able to escape this minor unplanned predicament with my ever reliable sonic screwdriver." He turns to her with a nervous smile and states, "Or we could if it wasn't currently sitting in the pocket of my trench coat along with my cell phone." She's about to suggest using her own cell phone when he continues, "And your mobile which I had promised to fix last night but had completely forgotten about once I realized what day that today was."

Rose's look of astonishment quickly turns into one of disbelief as she is aware of how easily he always dismisses holidays with the ever so trite 'you humans and your silly traditions'.

"Okay," he confesses. "I forgot all about it once your mother rang up and told me in no uncertain terms that one, we should celebrate Valentines Day whether this stupid bloody universe has it or not, two, I should lavish you with gifts that aren't crap and three, to make absolutely sure that I didn't do some weird, alien thing to balls it all up." He looks around at their current conundrum and mutters, "Mission accomplished."

Rose's laugh turns into a groan as she scans the broom closet for another exit. "Doctor, what are going to do now?"

The Doctor pulls on his ear as he stares up at the ceiling. "Well, I'm sure that eventually someone will come along and free us from our little prison. In the meantime," he takes her by the shoulder and asks very seriously, "have we said everything that needs saying?"

Rose's smile fades a little as she replies equally serious, "No, we haven't, Doctor. There's still one more thing that I need to know." He nods and takes her hands in both of his and gives them a gentle squeeze of encouragement. Her eyes are suddenly alight with mischief as she inquires teasingly, "Does the banana tree nursery that we put in the hotel have anything to do with Jabe from Platform One?"

The Doctor's head jerks back in surprise and he laughs out loud before promising with his hand over his heart and a twinkle in his eyes, "Not a thing, Rose Tyler. Not a blessed thing."

They cling to each other in their laughter, all right with the world, until they hear a voice outside the door apologizing, "Sorry, Jacks. It looks like someone's already making use of this closet."

Rose immediately lets go of the Doctor and starts pounding on the door. "Dad, is that you?"

Pete's voice is laced with shock and confusion as he yells through the door, "Rose, sweetheart, what on Earth are you doing in there?"

"Never mind that, Dad! We're stuck in here! Can you please just let us out?" begs Rose.

"Sure, sweetheart," assures Pete's muffled voice. "Just give me a minute." They can just make out the jingle of keys when the door opens to reveal Pete and Jackie.

"So he's in there too?" teases Jackie.

"Who else would be in there with her?" he asks grumpily.

"Oh, I don't know," taunts Jackie. "I saw that gorgeous David McDonald bloke earlier and he and Rose make would make such a cute couple…"

"What are you two doing here anyway?" demands the Doctor in an attempt to change the subject.

"Well, what do you think? It's Valentine's Day, isn't it?" huffs Jackie as she crosses her arms in annoyance. "Or it should be." She gives her daughter a pitying look and inquires, "He didn't bollocks up your special day, did he love?"

The Doctor is unable to reform a retort before Rose answers, "Not much, Mum." Her smile slowly turns into a smirk as she questions, "So I know what you're doing here at Torchwood, but what are the two of you doing here, exactly?"

Neither of her parents seems fazed or embarrassed by Rose's teasing and Jackie smoothly replies, "Your dad has to work late again so I thought I'd stop by and pay him a visit," her grin widens lecherously, "so that we could take care of our own unfinished business."

The Doctor makes a gagging noise and states, "I don't know which disgusts me more. The thought of what you two are planning to do in here or the fact that the Donna side of me is so supportive of it."

Jackie releases a snort of amusement. "Well, now that that's settled, in or out?"

The Doctor grabs Rose's hand and tugs her through the doorway. "Out, definitely out."

Dragging Rose down the hall at top speed, she barely has enough time to call out, "Thanks for the rescue and have fun!" while throwing them a saucy wink over her shoulder.

Only allowing them long enough to collect their things, the Doctor reaches for Rose's hand once again and continues his rapid pace until they reach the elevator. He pushes the elevator button and sighs in defeat. "That's it, Rose. Valentine's Day is officially over. Nothing can redeem it."

"Nothing?" queries Rose as she presses against him and whispers in his ear.

The Doctor's eyebrows shoot up almost as high as his spiked hair when he hears her suggestion. "The Red Riding Hood costume, really? And the marmalade body paint?" She nods her head looking so much more innocent than her proposal.

Eager to close the deal, the Doctor asks hopefully, "And just to clarify, I get to be the Bad Wolf this time?" Her enthusiastic nod spurs him into immediate action. "Well, Happy Valentine's Day to me! What are we waiting for?" He whips out the sonic screwdriver and aims it at the elevator to speed the car on its way to them and shouts out, "Allonsy!" upon its arrival.

They step into the elevator and turn just in time to see Jake walking by whistling a jaunty tune and sporting an enormous grin. Rose keeps watching him as he walks off while inquiring, "Doctor, why is Jake covered in toner?"

The Doctor chuckles softly and replies, "I think that he has a date tonight." He suddenly exhibits a startled look as he recalls something from earlier and advises, "Rose, you might want to stay away from the hotel's fountain area and Mrs. Murphy for the next few days, at least until I can clean everything up."

"And why do you need to do that?" asks Rose with great trepidition.

"Well," explains the Doctor, "it all started with some Koi that I saw in an exotic pet shop. You know how I love a little shop…"

THE END