First Doctor Who fic, yay. NineRose and TenRose. Kind of...

I don't own DW, by the way.

This is a story out of order.

The End (of the End)

He burns up a star to say goodbye, but it isn't enough. He yearns to hold her hand for the last time, to touch her hair, to hug her, even to kiss her.

Rose Tyler, I…

Am a coward, but I have to say it.

I love you.

(You never know what you have until it's gone.)

The Middle (Of the beginning)

He isn't surprised to realize he's falling in love with her. He falls for her spirit, that little spark she has. He isn't afraid too, which is a change.

She makes him forget to be afraid.

"What now?" She asks, her tongue poking out from between her teeth.

"Now," he replies, "we run for our life!"

They do, and they never, ever stop.

(Because stopping… well, that leaves you vulnerable, and that's the last thing he can stand to be.)

The Beginning (of the middle)

Barcelona. Is that really what he wanted to say? He tells her she is fantastic, and she is. Everything goes up in fire, and as he burns, he has one last thought. I love you.

He will never say it, though; because things always go up in fire (his one constant companion is death). Someday, she'll be gone, and he doesn't want to think about that. It is safer just to hide.

(He spends all of his time avoiding facing life. It isn't strange to just continue.)

The End (of the beginning)

When he sends her away, he's certain that she'll never see him again. He will certainly never see her—he'll be too dead.

Maybe one of his past regenerations went back to Rose Tyler. He tries to remember, but the Daleks are there, and he has to concentrate.

He knows he's a coward, but he would die for Rose Tyler.

(She didn't think he was a coward.)

When she comes back, he's stunned, and he dies for her in an instant. He would do it again, a thousand times, if the need arose.

(That's how pathetically in love he is with the girl he can never have; the Bad Wolf.)

The Middle (of the middle)

He's alive. That is one joyous thing. He remembers Rose Tyler. He loves Rose Tyler. Rose Tyler thinks he's foxy. He talks too much. Jack is gone.

Details overwhelm him at night, when she sleeps and he has time to think, but he chases them away.

I would never leave her.

He will, though.

(He's too much of a coward to stay.)

The Middle (of the end)

Her legs are pumping, and she's running, running as fast as she can, but it just isn't fast enough, because she's being pulled in. He wants to help her so badly, but he can't, because he's stuck. She runs forward, but is dragged back, and then with one smooth motion, Pete has her, and she is gone forever.

(It wasn't his fault in the end, which is a change. She's still gone, though.)

The End (of the middle)

Tin dog. He knows it to be true, Mickey must have always felt like K-9; they certainly always treated him that way.

He knows Rose is unhappy, but he is, in a way. It was cruel, really, to bring him along. It would always end terribly. Now Rose doesn't have a backup, but who is he to care?

(He doesn't want her to need a backup, anyway.)

The beginning (of the beginning)

"Run."

With that one word, there's a whole universe, set in motion. His whole universe. She is his universe.

(Everything ends, even the universe.)

The beginning (of the end)

Ghosts. Ghosts, all around him. They aren't ghosts, but they are. He looks at them, and he sees his past.

Susan, she's there. And Barbara, and Ian, and Jack, and Sarah Jane… he looks at one, and thinks he can almost make out Rose's face.

One day, she'll be the past.

(Everything has an ending. He should know that best of all.)

Maybe a story out of order is the best kind, in the end.