'Tis A Fearful Thing

"It is a fearful thing," you tell her softly, "To love what death can touch."

She glances up at you in surprise. Unexpected, those words of yours. The mention of love. She smiles, though. And something flutters in your chest and you think it is relief, and you think it is a little like healing; you also think, at long last, it's a little like hope. She understands.

You hold your breath as she releases hers, wondering what she will say. But she stands, and steps over to you without saying a word. She takes your hands in hers, squeezes, intertwines your fingers. "Rose?" you murmur, unsure about the curious look in her eyes.

"It is also pretty scary," she tells you firmly, "To love what death cannot."

"I can die, Rose," you disagree, but tears inexplicably prick at the back of your eyes. "You've seen it."

"Yes. And I've seen you regenerate, come back to life."

"One day I will run out of those chances and die for good."

"Yes," she repeats calmly. Swallows, and adds, "But I won't be here to see that."

You frown deeply. "No," you whisper, the word a little broken. You remove one of your hands from her grasp and brush aside her hair, tucking it behind her ear. You lean in, slowly, and press a tender kiss to her forehead. "I don't want you to go, ever," you admit quietly, into her hairline; feeling younger and older and more vulnerable than ever before, all at the same time. Holding her close, offering her your soul, your heart, your life, with those very words. She knows this.

"Let's not think about that," she tries to comfort you, and if it were anyone other than her it wouldn't work, but there's her smile, and her warm eyes, and her slight giggle against your neck as she continues, "You're stuck with me for the long haul. And by long haul I mean decades. Think you can cope with visiting my mum for decades, Doctor?"

She is teasing you, and it is working. You smile as you pull back to look at her. Sighing dramatically in joking pretence, you grumble, "Oh, the things I do for you."

"Fancy doing another thing for me?" she asks, oh and look, there's that tongue, touching the corner of her mouth to tease you further.

"Depends what it is," you reply, arching an eyebrow.

"Take us somewhere for dinner. Chips. Somewhere...beautiful."

Your hand cups her jaw, thumb brushing the apple of her cheek. "Rose Tyler," you whisper. And then you kiss her, to tell her that her wish is your command; to tell her yes, to everything, all of it - a life, her life, with her, you will spend, happily, easily, wonderfully. To tell her yes, you want her here; yes, you are in love with her; yes, yes, yes –

"Doctor, I'm not kidding about those chips," she grins, once she pulls away to gasp in a breath. "I've got a craving for 'em."

You chuckle, because those are not the words you thought you would hear after kissing Rose Tyler, but they are certainly brilliant all the same. Reluctantly, your hands part ways, and for your best friend and all the very much more that she is, you set the coordinates for somewhere beautiful. Somewhere that sells chips.