Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who. I'd sure like to own more Doctor Who stuff, though…
Author's Note: When I told a friend of mine about this fic idea, she said it was kind of superfluous… and she's probably right, but I don't care. 8D; I really liked the idea. And what is fanfiction for, if not writing superfluous ideas? XD Ah well. I hope she—and everyone else—likes this well enough, anyway.
Warnings: Spoilers through the end of the season four specials ("The End of Time" part two). Draws a lot from the episodes set in the Library. Brief references to the book, "The Stone Rose," and the animation, "The Infinite Quest." Crap editing. Superfluous-ness. Ten/Rose.
"Sorry, who is—? …!"
"I'm going to make a wild stab in the dark, here—which is all I can really do, now, anyway— and guess that that overly dramatic gasp of yours means you've figured it out. Always were a clever one, you."
"…no. No, it can't be."
"It really can't, can it? Or at least, it really shouldn't be."
"You—you said… You said it was impossible for…!"
"Well, it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong, would it?"
"W-well— why did…? No, I mean—how did… no, I… I just… What's going on?"
"All fantastic questions, to be sure. If only I had an answer for them. The last thing I remember is… well. It doesn't really matter now, does it?"
"It does. Of course it does—are you daft?! Don't answer that. We both know you are. Where are you? Are you lost? Hurt? What's happened? Why did you…?!"
"I've no idea. I vaguely recall seeing that phone of Martha's on the consul, but after that… I guess I've been a trifle, ah, scatterbrained, as of late. All over the place. A bit literally. Still, this seems rather like overkill, doesn't it? We must be breaking some kind of record for drawn-out goodbyes: burning up suns and punching holes in reality and hopping back on personal timelines, etcetera. And here I was, thinking I'd already collected my reward..."
"I went back. Do you remember? January 1st, 2005. The snow, the dark, and the alley. I spoke to you. I told you…"
"I didn't expect you to remember me. In fact, think of how catastrophic it would have been if you had! Universe-imploding consequences, and all of that. More importantly… Was it?"
"…was it what?"
"Blimey, you're slow today."
"Wha—?! Sorry, I guess it just caught me a little off-guard, hearin' from an old-friend who was supposed t' be long gone, and all that. Let's see how well you react if some Time Lords suddenly come waltzin' through a portal or what-not and wave you a cheery hello!"
"…yes, wouldn't that just be something."
"Anyway. Was it what, exactly? A great year, like you said? Are you kiddin' me? You don't actually need t' ask, do you? It was the best. You know that. Better than I ever could have dreamed… and not just because I didn't dream, back then. Before you. Before all of… this. I had no reason to dream, before then."
"And what about this year? The year you're living now? Has it been just as fantastic? How about the one before it? And the one before that? And— How many years has it been since…?"
"Four. And they've been… they've been equally amazing. Everything you'd ever hoped for me."
"An adventure every day. Grocery shopping, paying bills, cleaning nappies. Probably too domestic for your tastes, though."
"Oh, I'm not so sure about that. With the right partner, any adventure can be one worth having."
"… Doctor, I—"
"But there are some adventures I can never have, Rose."
"…well, then. What about the ones you can? Or the ones you did? What have you been up to? Lots of running, I expect? And bananas?"
"Oh, same ol', same ol'. I've got more Adventure than I know what to do with, really. It's all quite exciting. Like this once, I was in Pompeii with—"
"Donna, right? Funny how people always start turnin' to stone whenever you show up in the ancient Roman Empire, huh?"
"…ah. Have I—that is, has he— told you the tales of my gallivanting, then?"
"Some of 'em. The important ones. The ones that I… needed t' know. So that I would understand."
"Understand when something like this happened."
"How brilliant of me."
"Modest as ever, you are."
"Some things never change. But… Rose, I—"
"Hey. Wanna know which my favorite was?"
"My favorite of your adventures. From the stories you told me. Do you wanna know which my favorite was?"
"…go on, then."
"I liked the one about the Library."
"Really? The Library? I'd have thought you'd prefer the one where I hallucinated you on the Infinite."
"Oh. Did he not tell you…? It was a bit embarrassing, that. Guess that explains why it's not your favorite, though. Never mind, then. Sans making everyone involved a computer program and-or forever paranoid about going out on sunny days, what was so great about the Library, in your humble opinion?"
"She was there. That woman. River."
"…I'd have thought you'd be jealous."
"Well, yeah. Maybe a bit. But that's not important. Not really. What's important is that you… that we know, now, for a fact, that you're gonna find someone else who…"
"No, please. You listen. What's important is that it's not over, yeah? That's what I mean. She told you… She told you about all of these amazing things that you're gonna see and do. These brilliant people you're gonna meet, and all of the grand times ahead. So… so this isn't the end, is it? There's no reason to be scared. Or sad. Because I know you, Doctor. I know you're terrified. I can tell by your rambling. I can hear it. In your voice."
"…but there is, though."
"There is what?"
"Reason. To be scared. To be so damn scared. I… I won't be the same, Rose. And without you here— here to fall for all over again when 'he' wakes up— I don't know if he'll feel…"
"If he's not you, then it doesn't matter how he feels about me."
"…I knew there was a reason I liked Joan. She was so much like you…"
"Pardon? Who was like me?"
"Er…I take it I didn't mention that trip, either? Yeeeah, I can see why I, um, never got around to telling you that one…"
"Joan, was it? Oh, you'll be telling me later. Don't think for one second you won't be."
"…that's not the only thing."
"That's not the only thing I never got around to telling you."
"…you didn't have to say it."
"I wanted to."
"I didn't— I don't want...!"
"Shh, I know."
"I don't want to go, Rose…! You're right— I'm scared. I'm so scared. Because you aren't here, this time. No one is. I'm all by myself. I've been all by myself for so long, now… cowering and frightened. I've not even been having adventures. Not really. I've just been evading everything. Running and hiding. Or trying to hide, anyway. From loneliness. And responsibility. And fate. But even I can't manage that. And now I'm done. It's over. Rose, I don't want—! I was so alone, Rose. Always so alone, and I could hardly bear it… But I managed. Managed until I met you. And them. And everyone. And now the holes in my hearts are bigger, and emptier, and there's nothing I can do. Nothing! I don't want to be alone, Rose…! Not now! Not when I'm—!"
"But you're not."
"You're not alone, are you? I'm right there. I'm right there next to you, Doctor."
"…you're millions of miles away."
"And how do you know that? You said you can't see anything, right?"
"No… It's dark. It's been dark for a few minutes."
"Well, I'm right there beside you. In the dark. I'm holding your hand as you fall asleep. So it's okay, Doctor. To sleep, and live the next dream. 'Cause you're not alone. Just like always, I'm there. Part of the Tardis. Part of you."
"I was wrong."
"Twice in one day? Must be a record."
"I tried, you know. To put your feelings first. To do what was best for you. It's in my nature to be selfish, but for you, I really tried not to be. Even though it nearly killed me. Still, since I couldn't stay, I knew that it would be unfair to... But I was wrong. It does need saying. I should have said it every day. And even if it's too late for me to do anything about it, even if it's the ultimate selfishness, I want to say it, anyway."
"…you silly man. You've never been selfish before. Not really."
"…well, maybe a little. But with all that you do for the universe, I think it balances out. So I guess I can still allow you this."
"Big of you. I suppose I'll owe you one, eh?"
"All you owe me is an answer. An answer to the question I asked the both of you when we were standing on Bad Wolf Bay. Doctor. The first time you left me—right before that supernova gave out—your last words were cut off. What was the end… of that sentence?"
"Well, funny enough, that's what I wanted to tell you. Before the sun burns out, before the next enemy attacks, before I die. Before it's too late. I wanted to say it, this time. Since I've already got you on the line. I want you to know…"
"Rose Tyler... I love you."
"I love you."
"I… I'm sorry, Doctor, I'm still here, I am. I just… S-sorry, I can't seem t' stop cryi—"
"I love you."
"I love you."
"Doctor—?! N— no, Doctor, please—!"
"I love you."
"I love you."
"My Doctor… My beautiful, brilliant Doctor…"
"I love you."
She closed her phone with a silent click.