John stepped into the airy restaurant, his single heart beating like crazy. Maybe this was a bad idea. Maybe he should just excuse himself to the restroom and not come back.
No, he told himself firmly. I have to at least try to move on. I can't wallow in my own self-pity forever.
"Amelia, I'm not sure," he said despite firmly telling himself to stay. "I'm not over Rose. And I'm not sure my date would appreciate me fawning over my ex-girlfriend."
"It'll be fine," Amy told him, holding onto his arm. "You'll be fine."
He took a deep breath. "I hope so."
John sat down at the table, trying to stop his head from swimming in confusion and fear. He put his elbows on the surface and buried his face in his hands.
Rory, arms locked with Rose, walked with her through the restaurant and headed for her table.
"I'm nervous," she told him.
"Don't be. Everything will be perfectly fine."
"I hope so." What was she expecting from this? The Doctor was married; she couldn't expect them to be together forever.
"Look, John, I think I see your date coming," Amy whispered.
John groaned, forcing his head up to get a look at his blind date. Once he had managed to lift his head, it felt as though his heart stopped.
"Rose," he breathed, rising from the table.
Rose froze. If not for Rory holding her arm, she probably would've left right then and there.
As John approached, Rory unlocked their arms and went over to join Amy instead.
John smiled. "You look absolutely stunning."
He gulped thickly, trying to keep his hands at his sides when he so desperately wanted to kiss her.
"I can see the Doctor set this up," he said casually. "Trying to get us… back together."
"It seems like it."
"Rose." He took her face in his hands and looked into her hazel eyes. "Please. Don't do this. Give me another chance. I know I'm not what you expected to get when you came back to your world, but I am still him. It's like regeneration. Same man, except now I have one heart. Just one. That only beats for you. I don't want anyone else. I'd rather spend the rest of my days alone if I can't have you." He closed his eyes as he could feel the tears welling up. Oh, god, in the middle of a public restaurant! He opened his eyes again. "When the TARDIS is ready, and we do travel, then, I promise to be extra careful so nothing bad happens. Just please… I love you so much. I will never love anyone the way I love you."
Rose was silent during his entire speech. When he stopped talking, her arms wound around his neck, and she pressed her body to his.
His breath hitched in his throat as he returned her embrace, gently swaying her from side to side.
Now, it was impossible to keep his tears in. He held her tightly, sobbing into her shoulder.
"I love you," he whispered. "I love you. I love you."
"I love you, too," she cried back.
Amy smiled, bowing her head.
"You alright, Amy?" Rory asked.
"I'm just so happy for them."
He smiled, putting his arm around her and pulling her close. "Love you, Mrs. Williams."
"Oi, it's Mrs. Pond."
He rolled his eyes. "Right! Love you, Mrs. Pond."
Amy giggled, wiping her tears. "Love you, too, Mr. Pond."
The Doctor and River were sitting not too far away, both wearing hats to conceal their identities from John and Rose. River took off her hat and rose from her seat. The Doctor rose from his seat as well, but he kept the hat on.
"Darling, no," River said, taking the hat off his head and throwing it in the nearby trashcan.
"First the fez, now this! River, you're killing me!"
"Oh, shut it."
John and Rose broke away from each other to face the Doctor and River.
The Doctor shook John's hand, but John believed this should be something more. He quickly caught his old friend in an embrace.
"Thank you so much," he whispered. "Thank you."
"It's my job to make people better, yeah?"
The Doctor turned to Rose, his arms outstretched. "Come here, Rosie."
Rose laughed, running into his arms.
"Sorry I had to lie to you," he told her. "Both of you."
"No, don't be. You helped us. And thank you so much!"
The Doctor smiled at her, taking in the sight of her once more because he knew they would have to leave soon. He could feel it in his mind. The sound in his head got louder, and he put a hand to his temple.
"We've got to go," he said at once.
"Go?" John asked. "Go where?"
"The walls of the universe are closing," he explained, rubbing his head.
"What, now?" Amy asked. "I thought we were going to have a triple date!"
"Yeah, can't we stay for a little longer?" Rory inquired.
The Doctor shook his head. "I'm sorry."
"Wait a minute, is this why the TARDIS sent us here?" River asked. "So you can mend their relationship?"
"The TARIDS knows how important their relationship is. I wouldn't put it past her. She and I care very deeply about Rose and John, and we need them to be happy. Otherwise, everything would've been for nothing. Now, let's go!"
Amy and Rory gave hugs and said their goodbyes to John and Rose, who both thanked them for their part in helping the Doctor.
River nodded her goodbye to Rose.
John approached River, holding out his hand for hers to shake.
She took it with a smile.
"Timey wimey stuff sure is confusing," he told her.
"Yes, it is."
She turned away from him and followed the Doctor, Amy, and Rory on their way out of the restaurant.
"Oi, Doctor!" John called.
"What is it?" The Doctor asked impatiently, turning around.
He smiled cheekily. "Bowties are cool!"
John smiled back, and he and Rose watched as they left.
"So, what do you say we continue this date, then?" He asked her, pulling out the chair.
"I'd say that's a very good idea," Rose replied, pressing her lips to his before sitting down.
He sat down opposite her, and he felt happier than he in months. He took her hand from across the table and brought it to his lips.
"I love you," he said tenderly.
"I love you, too."
He leaned across the table to capture her lips with his.
The Doctor stroke the console, thanking the TARDIS for bringing him here. Allowing him to see Rose one last time, and allowing him the chance to fix their relationship.
"You're always looking out for her, even in a different universe," he whispered. "Thank you."
It had to be done, she said back.
He smiled fondly up at the ceiling before turning to his companions.
"Thanks for your help, all of you," he said.
Amy and Rory—who were holding hands—and River smiled at him.
River approached him, her hand on his shoulder as he set the TARDIS into motion to get back to their universe.
"Are you happy?" She asked softly.
"Oh, I'm incredibly happy." He kissed her softly and made a face when Rory cleared his throat. "Shut it. Let's go on an adventure!" He exclaimed, hopping around the console happily.
"Geronimo, then?" Amy asked, giggling at his kidlike attitude.
"For old time's sake, allons-y!" They were off onto another adventure, and the Doctor thought of his clone and his old love, who would soon be going off onto adventures off their own. The Doctor, in the TARDIS, with Rose Tyler; just as it should be.