AN: I can't believe I've done it, but yeah, I jumped into another sandbox. This is just a little one-shot, nothing much. But I had thoughts of how this scene would go, and so I wrote it up. Please enjoy.

This wasn't how it was supposed to have turned out.

She wasn't supposed to be standing on this godforsaken beach — again — without him — again. She had spent so long, spent so much time trying to get back to him, to her Doctor, and now she was back to where she had started. Ground Zero. Alone.

But the warm hand in hers said otherwise.

They'd said they were the same man. Same memories, same thoughts. The same feelings. They looked the same, had the same endearing smile, the same darkness in their eyes. And yet, it wasn't her Doctor. This was a substitute, her mind raged. A copy. But the feel of his hand was the same, if a little warmer, a little clammier, and he looked down at her with the same warmth in his eyes. And this Doctor had said it. The copy had been the one to say the words she'd longed to hear. It was him that she had kissed, and it had felt right.

Rose put a hand to her head and took a deep breath. She hadn't looked at him since they'd started walking down the beach towards the little hamlet nearby. Her mother was on the phone talking to Pete, prattling on about how they'd just avoided the end of the world and could he please just send a zeppelin? Rose wished she would stop.

She didn't want to hear about it anymore.

How could he have just left? How could he not say goodbye?

The other Doctor's had was still intertwined with hers, warm and slightly sweaty. It wasn't the cool, dry feel of her Doctor's hands, and yet, it felt right. She chanced a glance at his face, and found that he was watching his feet, his brows furrowed. He seemed lost in thought, but when he noticed her looking at him, his head turned and he flashed her a small smile and squeezed her hand. Her heart contracted in her chest.

They're the same, she thought. But how was she supposed to reconcile that in her heart? What were they supposed to do, start over? She felt her brows knit together in frustration, and she sighed again. Next to her, the Doctor slowed to a stop, and she stopped with him.

"Rose…" He fidgeted and let go over her hand and shoved his into his pockets. "Are you alright? With all this?"

She bit her lip and ducked her head, not quite sure what to say. "Dunno," she mumbled. At least it was the truth. She didn't know. He seemed okay with the answer though, and he nodded.

"I am him, y'know," he said. "Everything he is, I am. Feelings and all." He reached out and took her hand in his. "I love you, Rose Tyler."

She felt unwilling tears pool in her eyes as her heart leaped to her throat. Of course he did. She knew that. God, did she know it now. She nodded, choking on unspoken words. It was all wrong. This wasn't him. Not the one she wanted, the one she'd risked her life to reach.

So why was she stepping towards him? Why was she pressing her cheek to his chest and letting him wrap his arms around her? Why did it feel so right?

"I know," she muttered. His arms were tight around her, one of his hands gently stroking her back. "I…" But the words wouldn't come. Not yet. Not when he'd just left her. Anger surged through her, but it wouldn't stay. The feel of his long fingers in her hair drove it away.

It's him.

She sobbed, uncontrollably and without warning. She cried for the loss and the subsequent gain, and he just held her. He didn't speak, but she felt him press his lips to the crown of her head, and it only made her sob harder. How long they stood there, she didn't know, but eventually she pulled away and wiped at her face. He peered down at her with worried brown eyes, his hands unsure of what to do now that she had moved. He settled for his pockets again.

"I'm sorry," she croaked. "But this… it's just so…" She threw her hands into the air. She didn't know what it was anymore. He sighed, looking down at the sand beneath their feet, and then he reached out and brushed at her cheeks with his thumb, wiping away a stray tear. She pressed her face against his palm, unable to stop herself from doing so.

"One day at a time, yeah?" he offered. She let out a shaky breath.

"Yeah."

His thumb brushed her cheek again, and she took his hand and wrapped her fingers around his. One day at a time.

(AN: Please let me know what you thought! Are they in character? Is this any good? Should I continue with it? Let me know!)