Where we Belong
I'm gonna let it go.
When the Doctor woke, he was in his bedroom. He lay staring at the ceiling, trying to piece together the foggy memories of yesterday. He could remember Rose being there… No, that couldn't be right. He sighed and rubbed at is face, trying not to feel the despair that was eating at him.
It had been a dream. It was always a dream. Every time. Quite often he would dream that she was somehow back, and when he would wake, he could feel the crushing pain of knowing it had not been true.
Once he had dreamed that his ninth self - from mid-Time War - had found her in the parallel world and dropped her back to him. A few times that she'd never fell, and was still travelling with him and Martha, oddly enough as a Time Lady. Or that a strange girl from a broken future timeline came and gave him a 'Stitch' to go back and change things. That he had really been dreaming this whole time, a victim of a Glacadóir Aisling, and Rose saved him. That they find each other in a strange dimension where people could bend the elements. Once he even had a strange dream that Rose had become a walking TARDIS and spent a few years searching for him, popping in and out of his life to the point he believed she was a hallucination.
And every time, for a moment, he would believe it had been real, only to see the sad reality.
"Doctor?" he heard a small voice murmur. His hearts stopped a moment. Hesitantly, he turned his head to the side to see the blonde woman in the bed beside him. She was blinking at him sleepily.
"Rose?" he croaked.
"This is a dream, right?" she whispered.
"I was actually about to ask the same thing," he said. "But it can't be both our dreams… can it?"
"Nothing would surprise me anymore," she yawned. "Especially after what I've been through."
"You'd have to be telepathic to share a dream."
"Well... I am. So maybe it is a shared dream."
"How are you telepathic?" he said in confusion. This definitely seemed to be heading in the direction of his dreams.
"I don't know. I blame you and your lovely TARDIS. Lots of weird things happened to me over the last year. I'm telepathic, I stopped aging, minor injuries heal in hours or days. Tests show that I'm only half human now. But hey, you know something else?"
"Erm… what?" he said, fear creeping into the edge of his voice. Sleepily, Rose turned onto her side, facing him.
"I'm pretty sure you have to be in the same dimension to share a dream."
"That… that is a very good point." Stretching, he tried to feel every part of his body and mind, making sure he was really awake. Once he was certain, he turned back to Rose, who, thankfully, was still there, and hesitantly reached out a hand. He placed it on her cheek and closed his eyes as he felt it move across soft skin. "So… it's not a dream?"
"I don't think so…" she said with a yawn. "Then again, I'm not convinced I'm a wake yet."
"Well, in either case, I'm going to do this." He rolled over so he was propped up on his elbow, leaned over and kissed her gently on the lips.
"Mm-hm," she nodded. "Definitely asleep."
"Really?" he said in amusement, now fully awake. Happiness was slowly bubbling up inside him, threatening to overflow. He just grinned, holding it in, loving the way Rose was too out of it to bother.
"Yeah. But I like it… I'm just going to stay asleep forever. Okay?"
"Okay," he chuckled.
As her eyes slid shut again, the Doctor pressed a light kiss to her forehead, then groaning, he went to have a shower. He felt filthy… and to top it off, something in the area was causing a horrible sensation with in him, it really made him want to run away as fast as he could. He would deal with that later, first, a shower.
When Rose finally awoke properly, she was hit instantly by the lack of a second person in the bed. She didn't even have to open her eyes to tell. She could tell without reaching over, or turning around. She could tell by the pressure of the bed. No one else was with her.
Pain lancing through her chest, she squeezed her eyes tight and curled in on herself. She couldn't go through this every time. She just couldn't. Everyone told her that it would get better, that the pain would fade. She knew it was supposed to. She'd been in 'love' before, and the pain had gone away. This time it wasn't.
It had been an entire year. And it till felt like part of her soul had been ripped out. Almost everything reminded her of him. She was doing her best to push through. She would find a way back to him. She refused to live like this. She knew that she would outlive everyone she loved. And it was times like that that she wished she was with him, that she could hold his hand, run her hand through his hair, smell him on the library couch…
She was beginning to forget that smell. Oh, she could tell you what he smelt like, but the smell itself was fading from her memory. It was a smell of books, tea, TARDIS grease, hair product, a deep musk that was so him and a sweet, tangy scent she had figured out must be the smell of 'time'. Thankfully, recalling the smell, seemed to be bringing it back to her. It comforted her, and she burrowed her head further into the pillow, almost hoping that that was where the scent lingered…
It was! Opening her eyes, she pressed the pillow closer to her face and sniffed deeper. It was coming from the pillow! Taking it away from her face, she noticed that this was not her pillow. And looking around, this was not her room.
A gasp escaped her lips when she saw where she was. She was in the Doctor's room. She realized with a sudden jolt, that she was most certainly awake. And there was no way that anyone could replicate this room in any way. Only she knew what it was like, and even then, it was different. Like the board just off to the side that had complex equations and the workings of how to build a… dimension filter…
Hadn't someone mentioned something about a dimension filter yesterday?
Then, it hit her. It all came back. Jack in her lounge. Saying goodbye to her mother. The old (or young) TARDIS and the Doctor in an earlier conversation. That den of horrors, the psychic opium den. Her mostly naked duplicate, snogging the Doctor. Their conversation up the stairs as she fought off her nightmares. The woman, Martha taking care of the Doctor. Jack comforting her…
She shot up straight, leaping out of bed.
"Doctor?!" she cried. Her head snapped around, looking for him about the empty room. She heard a clang in the bathroom and rushed to it without thinking. "Doctor!"
When she entered, the room was still cloudy with steam. He stood there, dressed like she'd found him the first time, in nothing but his trousers. He was drying his hair with a white towel, making the wet strands stick up in all odd places. When he saw her, a huge grin lit up his face.
"About time you woke up," he said. "Finally figured out it's not a dream?"
"Like hell I have," she said.
And in the next second, she was charging at him. The towel was dropped to the ground as she hurled herself into his arms. The Doctor stumbled back with the pressure, bumping into the sinks behind him. Her arms went up around his neck, her head buried in his shoulder, brushing the wet drops. The Doctor's arms were firmly around her waist and up her back, holding her up against him, his face nuzzling into her hair.
For a moment, all they could do was breathe each other in, a small smile touching their lips.
"Are… are you okay?" Rose said, her voice muffled by his skin.
"Yeah, I'm fine," he told her softly. "I'm more than fine. I'm brilliant!" At the familiar tone, Rose looked up to see a joyful grin on his face as he looked back down on her. She smiled at him in return.
"I can't believe I'm back. It seems so impossible…"
The Doctor paused, then looked at her in confusion. "How did you get back?"
"I'm guessing you don't remember that bit," she giggled. She slowly let go of him and he led them back into the room.
"Don't really remember much of anything," he admitted. "One moment I was talking to Martha, next… I don't know. Everything's just a big blur, then I'm waking up beside you. It was cute, you were convinced you were asleep."
"Oh dear," she groaned, flopping down on the bed in embarrassment. "I really don't want to know what I said." The Doctor just laughed. "Anyway, After you went missing, somehow a younger version of you… fifth incarnation, I think, he came looking for you. I didn't really get the whole story, but him Martha and Jack showed up in the parallel universe and brought me back to save you from that Opium Den."
"Opium Den," the Doctor said. "That explains a lot."
"You were so adorable."
"Don't even start," he warned. He lay down beside her, their heads close. "I can remember that. Well, bits of it anyway…" She rose an eyebrow when she saw a slight blush rise in his cheeks. "Rose?"
"What did you mean?"
"When?" she said in confusion.
"This morning. You said that you were telepathic… and… other stuff."
"I - I said that?" she stuttered. The Doctor just looked at her, up through his eyelashes. Rose sighed. "Well, I guess that I meant just that. I don't know. During one of the medicals, we found something weird with my DNA. Slowly strange things started to happen. I healed. I stopped getting older. I negotiated with a race of telepathic beings who thought that our planet was a threat. So, we did more tests. They proved that my brain is 80% more active. My cellular ageing has come to more or less a complete stop. And only half of my DNA still resembles a human. We don't know what happened, but something changed me. It scared us… we had no idea what it was. And, well, we knew that someday I was going to end up by myself… I needed you then, more than ever. I threw myself completely into my project to get back. I could barely last a year without you… how was I going to last hundreds…"
The Doctor looked up at her sadly. "I would have found a way," he whispered. "Eventually. I was working on something that could get me there. An old Gallifreyan machine. You always find your way back to me. There was no way I was going to let this one end it all."
"Even if you had to lose me again?"
"I didn't care. I would have given anything for just a little longer than what we had."
Rose was quiet for a moment, then began to blink. "You kissed me," she suddenly said, causing the Doctor to chuckle.
"Yes, I did." The looked at each other and smiled. As they did, the Doctor's eyes flashed to her temples, and he grew hesitant. "M-may I?"
Rose nodded. She had never had anyone truly in her mind before. The Merachne had only spoken to her, but even that brief contact had left her feeling lonely since then. She could only imagine how painful it was for the Doctor… If she could soothe that, only a little bit…
The Doctor sat up slightly, and slowly, ever so gently, placed his finger tips on her temples. She felt a push at the back of her mind. Every instinct screamed at her to push it out, but she ignored it as another part of her was telling her that this was right. So instead of resisting, she opened up her mind as much as she could fight the natural reaction to having another enter.
She felt as the Doctor slipped into her mind, a warmth flooding through her. She was overcome by what she felt. Just the mere presence of his mind was enough, but she could feel all of him. The pain of his past, the joy of his friendships, his love, the suffering of this past year. She could feel it all. She knew him, everything he was and could be… she accepted him for it all. In her mind, she reached out to him, and placed her hands over his 'hearts'.
The Doctor gasped and his eyes snapped open as he felt what Rose did. Did she know what she'd just done? That she had initiated a bond between them? He didn't mind at all, and he doubted she would either, but it was still unexpected.
Placing a kiss on her head, he gently withdrew. Now was not the time to finish the bond. They still had other things to worry about. Like the fact that Martha and Jack were most likely waiting for them to wake up somewhere in the TARDIS…. Jack! He must be what that disturbing feeling was… Well, there was no way to stop that without kicking him off the TARDIS into the Time Vortex… Hmm… That actually, that sounded like quite a good idea.
"Oh… Oh!" he suddenly cried as certain memories came back to him.
"What is it?" Rose asked in concern.
"I just got my memories back. From helping you save this me! Rose, the thing that I used to get into Pete's word was that." He pointed to his board. "A dimension filter. The thing that I was trying to build."
"And…?" she said, not understanding why he was so excited.
"Well, I was supposed to return it, but I didn't. I just went back to my companions, and locked away my memories! It's still here, on the ship! I mean, sure, the only way to get it working was by charging it on Gallifrey, but when I was trying to work that out, I figured out that if you drag it fully exposed through the Time Vortex for roughly a month, it should generate enough power to give us a few jumps back and fourth through the dimensions. Rose, you can see your mother!"
"So, I could go back? Just… wait a month and see her?" He nodded, a huge grin on his face. Who would have thought that he would miss Jackie Tyler. "Oh my gosh!" she squealed, jumping up and giving him a hug. "I can see Tony grow up! And Christmas, birthdays, all of it!"
"Come on," he said, still smiling. "You said Jack and Martha. I'm sure they're waiting for us." He began to get fully dressed.
"Yeah, probably. I don't know, the last thing I remember was… hugging Jack."
"Hugging?" he said sceptically, raising his left eyebrow in the way she loved so much.
"Balling my eyes out in his arms due to sheer exhaustion and confusion."
"Ah…" he looked at the ground guiltily.
"Well, come on," she replied cheerfully. "I want to meet this Martha properly. Didn't get much of a chance to talk to her."
"Really? What did you think of her?"
"She's nice," Rose said. "I like her… You do know she has a crush on you, right?"
The Doctor grimaced. "Yeah…" he admitted. "I was hoping that if I ignored it, she might get over it. I was nowhere near ready to even consider…"
Rose rolled her eyes. "Come on, you dork!"
"Me?! A Dork!"
"Oh," he stopped her in the door way. "One more thing. About Jack… you might find out something that might shock you, but it's okay, and it wasn't you're fault."
"Why would it be my fault?" she said curiously.
"I get the feeling I'm going to have to explain that one to him, too," he groaned. "Ah, well. All in good time. Lets get you settled back home."
Then, he surprised her with a quick, soft kiss, and led her out to their friends, and their new life.
And that's the end! I'll just leave the rest for all of you to assume what happened, because if I carry on, it will lose plot, exciting-ness and I will not be able to find anywhere to end it.
So, I hope you liked it!