~ Part 2 ~

::

Numb with shock, the Doctor returned to the TARDIS to collect his thoughts and come up with a plan of action vis-à-vis Winning Rose Tyler Back. He was positively certain that if he attempted to go to Jackie's flat, both mother and daughter would not let him in. The only way of seeing Rose and hopefully changing her mind was to wait until she went out, therefore he positioned himself in front of the console screen.

And, trying not to think about the negative connotations of doing so, he watched out for Rose.

::

All night, he sat there gloomily staring at the screen and pondering over a thousand and one ways of making things right. Shortly before Rose had left, Mickey had gone back to his flat to get a few more bits of luggage, but he hadn't yet come back to the TARDIS. The Doctor suspected Rose had called him to let him know that their travels together were apparently over.

It wasn't until eight o'clock the following the morning that he spotted Rose walking across the courtyard outside. He jumped to his feet and stretched his aching muscles, then dashed out of the TARDIS doors.

"Rose!" he called out.

He reckoned she heard him, because she sped up her pace.

"Rose, please," he begged, sprinting over to her. "Please just – can we talk? I need to talk to you. I can't just let this happen, Rose, I…"

"Leave me alone," she muttered.

"Where are you going, anyway?" he asked her in confusion.

"None of your business."

"Please can we just stop and talk for a moment? Or, I dunno…we could get breakfast at that café we like, and - "

"I've already eaten," she mumbled, refusing to look at him.

"Please, Rose - "

"Go away!" she exclaimed, frustrated with him beyond measure.

"Rose, this isn't you," he continued, walking quicker to keep up with her determined stride. "This isn't you at all."

She came to a sudden stop and levelled her scariest Jackie-esque glare at him. "What the hell would you know, eh? How dare you act as though I'm not justified in leaving you after what you did!"

"Oh for goodness' sake - it was just a kiss!" he shouted in frustration, but as soon as the words left his mouth he knew he'd made a grave mistake.

Rose swallowed hard and didn't reply for a long moment, and his hearts sped up in a panic as he feared her next move. When she finally spoke, evidently having waited to compose herself somewhat, her voice was low and definitive.

"If you'd really thought that," she said carefully. "At the time, if you'd really thought that, then you wouldn't have risked everything we have by inviting her with us."

He ached with how much he wanted Rose to come home to him but he could not help himself – he wanted to try to justify his actions. "That's an unreasonable assumption," he answered. "And, quite frankly, an unreasonable request. I invite people along in the TARDIS all the time, Rose. It's what I do. It's the reason why you live there in the first place, and to expect me to just stop inviting people who I think would enjoy a trip - "

"You are completely missing the point, you arrogant prick," she interrupted him. "And that, more than anything, is the reason I've left. You've utterly missed the point, and I don't think I can forgive you for that."

"Then tell me, Rose! Tell me what you want to hear, what you want me to sa-"

"No!" she shouted. "No, I won't, because if you can't figure it all out on your own then there's no way I can stay with you."

"Rose -"

"No," she interrupted swiftly. "No. You're just gonna have to accept that things are over between us, alright?"

"Well, I can't," he replied just as swiftly, staring at her in that Oncoming Storm sort of way as if to dare her to contradict him.

"Tough. Now stop following me and go and find someone else. You're good at that."

This time, when she walked away, he let her go; they'd started to attract a bit of a crowd with their shouting, and he didn't want one of the neighbours calling the police or something if he followed her.

He was absolutely and resolutely not, however, going to go far himself. He was going to go back to the TARDIS again, and the TARDIS was going to stay right where she was.