Fire in the Dawn {epilogue}

"Back from your honeymoon?"

The Doctor stopped in his tracks, hand half-way to the back of his neck as he met a smirking Donna in her mum's living room.

"What?"

"Oh don't tell me you two still haven't –"

"We have." Rose stepped out of the TARDIS behind him, giggling at the lost look he was seemingly sporting. "Went back a couple of times to check, actually."

Timelords DON'T blush! He told himself firmly as the blood vessels in his face became uncomfortably warm.

'Yeeeeah, they do.' Rose laughed as she caught the edge of his thought. He felt her continued amusement at his attempts to maintain propriety, and blushed even more. It was quite understandable though – once she'd discovered that the mental connection they'd forged could be made more or less permanent if strengthened regularly, she hadn't let it go. She'd allowed him to bind them properly, threading the essence of each other through the connection and consummating it with the physical touch. He really had cried after that. The feeling of her in his head – an end to the loneliness – was more than he had ever hoped for ever again.

Then she'd discovered that it meant she could project images whenever she wanted.

That's taking revenge to a whole new level.

"Well, that's what you get for waiting so long to do anything!" She'd crooned after he hit his head on the underside of the console, having been distracted by the thought of Rose creeping up to him and…and doing things

'Still thinking about that one?'

'You made it hard to forget?'

"So am I to take it you two are 'official' now?"

"Um, yeah?" She looked back at him for confirmation. He raised his eyebrows, the bow of guilt he'd felt the past week and a half pushing forward.

"Yeah…yeah you could say that!"

"Well thank christ for that! Thought you'd hold out forever on us! Jack was going spare – you should have heard him when he visited. Can't blame him though. The sexual tension you two gave off would have been enough to make the pope hot and heavy!"

They had tea and talked and laughed and Donna had just gone up to collect her stuff when Rose turned to him.

"Alright, what is it?"

"What's what?"

"The guilt." She prodded him eyebrows raised. "What've you done?"

"It's more…what we've done. Not that there was anything wrong with it!" He said quickly. "In fact these past nine days, fourteen hours and twenty minutes have been the best of all my lives! But, um, you know the connection thing…"

He felt her assertion through the link.

"Well, it sort of means…well I say it means, did mean, not necessarily now unless you think it should mean that, if you want –"

"Doctor!"

"It…traditionally means we're engaged. Or, at least that's the closest human thing to it. A bond like this wasn't even done on Gallifrey for millennia and I only know about it from our history books." He ran his hands over his face. "The…binding ourselves together…it was called the, well, Binding. The first step in being Bond-mates."

'Bond-mates?' the question came to him with a sense of wonder and he showed her what the word meant to him. Allowed her to feel what it meant for him.

"Bound to each other through all the universe." He murmured, drawing her close.

"Yeah?" She breathed. The link coloured with unsuppressed joy. "That wouldn't be too…domestic?"

"Little bit." He chuckled. "Bit cliché as well. But, I mean, if you want us to…"

"Course!" She hugged him tightly and he felt a wave of relief wash over him.

"Saves me asking you, at least."

"God," she giggled against his neck. "Engaged to you. I mean the rest is a bit too soon –" she looked intently at him as she glanced up. "All this new relationshipy stuff."

"Oh, now that's domestics!"

"I know!"

She tried to enunciate her feelings through the link.

'Not quite…us.' She sighed into his chest and he felt her hesitation at describing them. He'd felt it all week. Girlfriend and boyfriend were just too cushy and inaccurate, and even fiancée didn't fit. They didn't do the things people 'in a relationship' did, and though he'd spent the first few days warring between the part of him that roiled at the thought and the part that reasoned he really should, she'd pointed out that she didn't want that either. They didn't do breakfast-in-bed. No – he'd taken her to the seaside cafés of Raxus VI for a poached ephrich egg while they watched the annual migration of ephrich birds over the water. And then uncovered the secret trafficking of the rare birds to off-worlders who came every year.

Because that's how the universe worked.

'Bond-mates. Sounds about right. Meaning the universe to each other –'

"And doing what we doing what we do best." She finished out loud. "Muddling through."

"Bound together?"

"Yeah. We'll work out the rest later."

Then she giggled again.

"Mum's still gonna kill you!"

"Ow – s'pose I can't deny having sex with you anymore, can I?"

"Nope."

He sighed heavily.

"This'll be the third time, I hope you're counting!"

She let out a breathy laugh.

"Yes, Doctor."

At the top of the stairs, Donna was in a dilemma. As they snogged, so at ease with each other's company, she wondered who in the world would ever want to try to tear them apart; the two halves of the Stuff of Legend. The Doctor and Rose. Sharing themselves in a way millions and billions did every day.

The dilemma was whether to bring the water blaster.


A.N: I don't like it as much as the other epilogue. Too introspective and not very concise, but I did want to explore the idea, it was just a thought. Still, here you are!

Merry Christmas!