A/N: Well, kids, this is it. We've finally reached the last chapter for this story. Just As It Should Be has taken me a lot longer to finish than I ever intended, and for that I apologise. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has stuck with me though! Thank you to my followers, those who have been with me from the beginging and those who just joined the story yesterday. I adore you all! Thank you to everyone who has favourited. I'm flattered by your kindness. And thank you to everyone who has taken the time to review. You guys are just so amazing and you all bring tears to my eyes. Special thanks to Ashlanielle. She has stuck with me through thick and think and has talked me through many chapters. If you haven't read her work, go do that now. She's amazing! I also want to let you all know that this series will continue! So be on the lookout!
For now I'll leave you with a huge Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Stay safe and enjoy time with your family and friends.
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or anything related. That all goes to the BBC. *Some lines/ideas come from the episodes Rose, Journey's End, and The End Of Time. Credit for those lines/ideas go to their respective writers/creators.*
Cold. That was the first thing she noticed. She was terribly, terribly cold. Opening her eyes, Rose realised the reasoning behind the cold. She was lying in the snow. She sat up slowly, trying to get her bearings. Everywhere she looked was snow, not a building to be seen. It was a little unnerving, all the white, but this place was familiar. She'd been here before.
"He will knock four times."
Rose jumped at the statement, standing before her, where there wasn't one before, was an Ood. Not just any Odd, Ood Sigma. "S-sorry?"
"He will knock four times," the Ood repeated.
Ood Sigma cocked his head. "You must come. Your presence is required."
She shook her head. "What for?"
"Do you not hear it?"
Bum, bum, bum, bum. The noise of a drum echoed through the valley of snow.
"He is coming," Ood Sigma warned.
Bum, bum, bum, bum.
Rose jumped at the noise. "That's not possible. He's dead! He died in the Doctor's arms! I watched as his body burned."
"The song must end so it can change. You have been warned. You must come."
Clenching her eyes shut, she shouted, "No!"
With a jolt she opened her eyes and found herself standing directly in front of the Doctor. His face was marred by cuts and dried bit of blood. Shards of glass littered his hair and shoulder. Looking around, she noticed they were in some sort of open ballroom type place. Wherever or whatever it was, it was unfamiliar to her. "Doctor what happened to you?" she whispered, reaching forward to grab his hand.
He took a step back and away from her. "You did. Look at you. Not remotely important. But me? I could do so much more. So much more!" he shouted. "But this is what I get. My reward. And it's not fair! Oh. Oh. I've lived too long."
"D-don't say that," she pleaded. "We'll fix this. Whatever this is, we'll fix it. Together."
"Oh, Rose. This is the one adventure you can never have," he told her before turning and walking away.
"Wait! Don't leave me! Doctor, don't leave me!" she screamed, running after him.
Turning the corner she found herself back in the TARDIS control room just as a familiar golden glow surrounded her husband. He was regenerating. "No! Not yet," she cried. "I don't want you to go!"
With a gasp, Rose sat straight up, finding herself back in hers and the Doctor's bedroom on the TARDIS. The blankets tangled around her felt uncomfortable against her skin, sticky with sweat.
"Are you ever going to tell me about them?" a voice asked from beside her. Another gasp tore through Rose's chest. In her nightmare rattled state, she hadn't been aware that the Doctor had moved to the large wing backed chair beside their bed.
"Tell you about what?" she asked innocently as she worked on calming her breaths.
He sighed heavily. "I'm not stupid, Rose. Despite the fact that we've been on honeymoon for the past three weeks, you've had nightmares every single night. And every single night you try to hide the fact that you're having nightmares."
"I didn't think you'd noticed," she admitted quietly. "There were lots of times you haven't even been in the room with me when I've had them.
"I notice, Rose. I always notice."
"Why are you hiding them from me? Haven't you been the least bit happy these past few weeks, or were you just pretending for my sake?" he asked, sounding far harsher than he probably meant to.
Rose slumped as she realised what this was really about. For three weeks they had done nothing but spoil each other. They had gone to various resorts throughout the past three weeks, trying out what's considered the top honeymoon destinations in the universe. Not once had they spoke about what happened the last time the saw Donna. Not once did they mention their daughter, locked away in another universe. It was just them. They focused solely on each other and the fact that they were married. They reveled in the pleasure of joining minds as they joined their bodies. They basked in the simplicity of just being man and wife. For the past three weeks they have not been the Doctor and Rose. They have not been the Doctor and the Bad Wolf. They just... were.
And now the Doctor was worried that she hadn't been enjoying herself. That this has all been like some sick sort of play to her. She was doing the very thing she urged him not to do. She was keeping her demons to herself instead of sharing them.
"Oh, Doctor," she said under her breath as she slipped out of their bed and joined him in the chair by sitting on his lap. "These past few weeks have been... Well, there's no word to describe their magnificence."
"For me too, Rose. They've been that way for me too. But why have you not talked to me about these dreams you're having?"
"They frighten me. They genuinely frighten me and when I wake up, I don't want to think about them or what they might mean. I've wanted to focus on you and me. Right now, the universe can go hang itself."
The Doctor pulled her in tightly and buried his face in her neck. "Rose," he exhaled. "You are my wife. Whatever frightens you, it is my responsibility to banish. Please, tell me what has plagued you every night."
She nuzzled the top of his head. "It might not mean anything."
"And yet it might mean everything."
"It would be easier to show you. I'd rather not have to describe them myself."
He nodded and placed his fingers on her temples. "If you'd like."
It was a pleasant feeling, having the Doctor in her mind. A feeling Rose was very glad to becoming accustomed. Now that they were married, their mental bond was stronger than ever. The Doctor told her it was knowing his name, their name now, he said. It was a word the Doctor would whisper to her in the throws of passion, a word Rose was never to repeat. It was the joining of their names. The names that lay in their hearts, the Doctor told her. It was theirs and theirs alone. It was the name that caressed her mind every time the Doctor joined her mentally.
His mental signature was warm and pleasant. If she were to put a colour to it, she felt he would be a deep red, maybe a burnt orange, not the TARDIS blue she had originally imagined him to be. And he was gentle, he never pried, never even peeked in thoughts that lay open. He always asked permission first. Something Rose was eternally grateful for. She might be willing to completely share her everything with her husband, but there were some things a girl liked to keep to herself.
Careful was what he was being now. He slowly sought after her nightmare, before watching behind a closed door. He was protecting her from having to relive it once again. He was so thoughtful that way. As Rose waited for him to finish, she allowed herself to bask in his mind. To surround herself with the love he held for her. They feeling threatened to overwhelm her, so she only allowed herself to indulge for a moment, before feeling the Doctor begin to recede her own mind. Just as she slipped out of his, she caught sight of a thought, he'd accidentally left open. It was Davros and the Daleks. Burning.
She gasped and jumped off the Doctor's lap. He looked at her in confusion before realisation "Oh, Rose. You weren't meant-"
"You're angry with me," she stated, not as a question but as a fact.
"Angry's not the exact word I'd use..."
Rose scoffed. "I saw it, Doctor, in your mind. I felt it."
He sighed and scrubbed his hands down his face. "I'm not angry with you, Rose."
"Yeah? Could've fooled me."
"Would you just stop for a minute?" he requested. Jumping to his feet, he began pacing the room. "I am not angry at you, Rose. I am scared for you."
She raised an eyebrow. "Scared for me? Why?"
"Because I don't want you to be like me!" he snapped.
"And that would be bad thing?"
"Yes, Rose. Yes, it is. Committing genocide... That's not something you just get over."
"I did what was best. What was right in the situation. I saw it. Bad Wolf saw it."
"And I did what I thought was best during the Time War but, Rose, knowing that doesn't make the guilt of what I did go away."
Rose closed her eyes and slumped back onto the bed. "Do you want to know what scares me most?" she whispered.
He kneeled down in front of her. "What, Rose?"
She opened her eyes. "I don't feel bad about what I did. Not one bit. Does that make me a bad person?"
"Of course not."
"I don't feel bad about the Game Station and I don't feel bad about the Crucible. I killed off an entire species, twice, and I don't feel bad for it! They were horrible, horrible creatures, Doctor!" she sobbed. "There was no hope for them! If there was hope, a shred of hope, things could have gone differently. But I saw, Doctor. I saw what they would do if I let them live and I... I couldn't. It's not fair! I didn't want to make that decision. I didn't want to make that choice, but I was the only one that could."
The Doctor pulled her hands in his and began placing kisses up her arms. "Oh, Rose. You could have let me do it."
"I couldn't," she argued. "It had to be the Bad Wolf. I create myself. I am the Bad Wolf. The Abomination. I chose this path and I don't regret it, but sometimes it scares me that I doesn't bother me more, what I did to the Daleks."
"Get dressed," he told her, standing to his feet.
"There's something I want to show you. Get dressed and meet me in the control room in five minutes."
"Come on, Old Girl," the Doctor timing on this had to be just right. It was risky, what he was planning, but he needed to do this. Rose needed this. He'd known about the nightmares, of course he knew, but he hadn't been sure what they had been about. There'd been so many times he'd wanted to ask her, but he wanted to respect her privacy. And he'd so hoped that she would come to him. He understood her reluctance. They'd been through so much in their time together and they were both guilty of trying to save each other from any more pain than possible.
Come to find out, she hadn't even been dreaming of what he'd assumed. He had thought that her dreams would be of what happened on the Crucible. What had happened to Davros and the Daleks. Of course he didn't fault her for not feeling guilty. He'd been there before and he didn't want her to struggle with those emotions as well.
Landing as gently as possible, the TARDIS sent a mental warning to the Doctor. What he was doing was risky and he needed to be careful.
"I will be," he muttered. "I need to show her this."
"Show me what?"
The Doctor turned a small smile lighting her face. He would never, no matter how long he lived, get used to the sight of his gorgeous wife. He held out his hand. "Come on. Now before we go out there, I need to warn you to try and stay quite. You might feel a bit disoriented at first, that's because the TARDIS is trying to mask her mental signature."
Rose frowned. "Why would she do that?"
The Doctor merely wiggled his eyebrows and led her outside. He put a finger on his lips. "Shhh."
"Where are we?" Rose whispered as the exited the TARDIS. The Doctor was right, she felt a bit off, but the TARDIS was doing her best to lessen the feeling for her.
"Southampton Docks. April the ninth," he said.
"What year?" she asked, noticing a few oddly dressed folks.
"But that would mean..."
"Yep! Tomorrow, the RMS Titanic will leave on her first and only voyage."
Rose stared, wide eyed, at the bustling dock "Oh my god. That's just... Wait, where is it?" The Doctor grabbed her shoulders and turned her around. Rose stepped back into the Doctor's embrace as she took in the sight of the massive ship. "Wow. That's amazing. But why are we here?"
The Doctor pointed to a family in the distance. "The Daniels family," he informed her. "The parents, Ephraim and Annabelle with their oldest daughter, Katie, who is eleven; There's the twins, Margo and Collin, they're six; And the youngest, Elisabeth, she's two... nearly three," he added with a grin.
Rose gasped. "Wait a second... I remember hearing about them... Back after I first met, ya. That man, Clive was his name, he told me about the Daniels family and how they were supposed to be on the Titanic, but mysteriously canceled their trip after meeting you!"
"It was Katie I befriended first," he explained. "Got a cry for help from her on the psychic paper."
"Seriously? She's not human?"
"Oh, she's human alright, she's just a bit more in tune with her telepathic abilities. It happens with humans occasionally. She was also a bit sensitive to time. She didn't mean to cry out for me, didn't even know what she was doing, but she was scared. Scared of getting on the Titanic. See, she could sense something was off. She knew that if her family stepped aboard that ship, they may never step off."
"What did you do?"
"Went on a little visit to their home a few days before the launch. Posed as an official from White Star Line, fibbed about interviewing our passengers before the maiden voyage, blah, blah blah."
Rose gave him a smirk. "And that worked?"
He looked affronted. "It did, thank you very much! And Katie, I could tell right off the bat how terrified she was. When I asked her if she was looking forward to their holiday she told me, 'not particularly.' I asked her why that was. When she didn't answer, I told her the truth. That she could trust me. I was there to help her."
"She admitted everything, didn't she?"
"Poor thing couldn't stop crying. She hadn't told anyone about her 'visions' as she called them. She was afraid of what people would think of was afraid her family would send her away if they knew."
She shook her head. "'S awful. How'd you convince the family not to go."
"Well," he drew out, " I planned on appealing to Katie's mother. Annabelle was a worrier, I could tell. She was nervous about going on the Titanic herself, but hadn't wanted to upset her husband. He'd surprised her with the trip as an anniversary present. Come to find out though, Katie's heightened abilities weren't random. She'd inherited them from her father. Ephraim Daniels overheard my conversation with Katie, he'd been feeling the same way, but had been wary to cancel the trip. He thought his family was looking forward to their holiday, he hadn't realised his oldest was like him." He chuckled. "Stronger, actually."
"So what happened?"
"Ephraim talked to his daughter and explained to her that what she was feeling was okay. There was nothing wrong."
Rose gave a soft smile. "Must have felt nice, having her dad comfort her like that. So they just canceled their trip?
The Doctor nodded. 'Mmmm. They were a little wary once Ephraim figured out I didn't actually work for White Star Line, but he couldn't deny his or his daughter's ill feelings towards the trip."
"This is a nice story and all, Doctor, but I still don't understand why we're here the day before the Titanic departs."
"Look," he whispered. "Don't say a word." Rose felt her stomach drop when she realised who was approaching the Daniels family. It was the Doctor. Her first Doctor.
"Ah, Doctor Smith," Ephraim Daniels called out. "Right on time."
The Time Lord smirked. "I do my best."
Katie ran up to him. "We want you to be in our picture, Doctor!"
"Oh, I shouldn't-"
"They had already scheduled a family picture for today and decided not to cancel it as well," Rose's current Doctor, and husband, whispered in her ear.
Annabelle clutched the Doctor's arm. "We insist. If what my Ephraim and Katie are telling me is true, than we owe you quite a bit."
"Really, you don't owe me a thing," the Doctor tried telling them, but to no avail.
Rose quietly chuckled as Daniels family somehow roped the Time Lord into posing in their picture. The process took a lot longer than Rose was used to, but she had her Doctor explaining the photography process in her ear. Once the photographer had come and gone, the Doctor and the Daniels family paused to take in the sight of the mighty ship before them.
"It's going to be bad, isn't it, Doctor?" Katie asked, sounding much older than her eleven years.
The Doctor knelt down before her. "The important thing is, you're safe. You and your family are going to be just fine."
"But not every family will be," Ephraim observed. "We have friends with family who will be on that ship and we can't tell them a thing."
Annabelle tugged her youngest closer in worry. "We could try to warn them," she suggested. "Couldn't we?"
Her husband smiled sadly at her. "I doubt they would believe us, my love."
"I want to go on the boat," the only boy out of the children pouted, his twin sister nodded in agreement.
Ephraim lifted his son to his hip. "I'm sorry, Collin. Perhaps another time. I promise, family, I will make this up to you."
The Doctor brightened. "Oh, that reminds me," he pulled an envelope out of his pocket, "here ya go!"
"Reimbursement for your tickets, courtesy of White Star Line. Use it for another holiday. Perhaps some place special for little Elisabeth's birthday!"
The toddler gave him a toothy grin. "I almost tree!" she exclaimed.
He grinned indulgently. "Yes, I know."
"How can we ever repay you?" Annabelle asked.
"Just live a fantastic life as a family," he answered.
"Will we ever see you again?"
The Doctor sighed. "Probably not, no," he told her honestly.
Ephraim gave a sharp nod. "Then we will bid you adieu, Doctor Smith. I can never thank you enough."
"Yes, it's much colder than I anticipated," Annabelle fretted as the children all said their goodbyes to the Doctor.
Katie paused in front of the Time Lord before pulling him in tight for a hug. "You're a good man, Doctor."
He shook his head. "I'm really not, Katie. Perhaps I was once, but not anymore."
"You will be again," she told him before joining her family as they took their leave.
Rose watched her first Doctor slumped on a nearby step. The look on his face broke her heart and it literally took her current Doctor's hand on her shoulders, restraining her, to keep her from running and comforting him. It was too much. She slowly felt her Doctor tugging her farther away.
"Why did you bring me here?" she asked when they were a safe distance away.
"That's me, when we first met- Well, that's me thirty-four hours, twenty-three minutes, and forty-seven seconds before we first met," he told her, nodding to his past self. "That me was born in battle, full of blood and anger and revenge. I was a mess. One minute I felt guilty about what I'd done, and then next I was glad the Daleks had been destroyed. See, Rose, I understand how you're feeling," he finished just as his other self stood to his feet and walked out of sight. A few moments later the sound of the TARDIS echoed in the distance. "I was in so much pain, but you made me better."
She shook her head, as tears began streaming down her cheeks. "I'm not that girl anymore. That girl who made you better."
"Of course you are, Rose!" he argued.
"But I'm not," she countered, feeling more comfortable raising her voice now that the other Doctor had left. "I'm not that girl. I've done things... Things you should hate me for!"
The Doctor blinked in surprise. "What?"
"I've already told you, Doctor. I don't feel bad about what I did to Davros or the Daleks! I'm glad they're gone!"
"And how does that make you feel?"
"And that's why you're still the same girl!"
She ran her hands through her hair. "That makes no sense."
He cupped her cheeks. "Rose, you're glad the Daleks are gone, but you're not glad you feel that way. How you're feeling now? I've been there. I'm still there at times. The guilt won't ever fully go away or make any sense, but it will get better. I promise. It's not easy, this life we live. We have to take a stand and make the choices no one else can or should make. But we never have to do it alone. Not anymore. We are husband and wife and no matter what the universe throws at us, we are in it together, right?"
"Together," she agreed. "I am sorry, if it's any consolation. I'm sorry about what happened on the Crucible. Not that it happened, but I'm sorry it had to happen."
The Doctor kissed her forehead. "I understand. But let's not try for a repeat performance any time soon, yeah?"
"Agreed!" she laughed before suddenly sobering. "Doctor, we never talked about the nightmares I've been having."
"Well, they're certainly disturbing, I'll hand you that. Don't really care for how I treat you in them."
"It's just a dream. I know you would never... But what do you think it means?"
"I don't know, Rose," he admitted honestly.
She bit her lip nervously. "I think a storm is coming. The biggest storm we've ever experienced."
He stiffened. "No."
"No. I'm not ready for any sort of storms. I'm happy, Rose. We're married and happy and I want to enjoy time with you as my wife, like I am right now. I'm not ready to change."
Rose clung to his arm. "Doctor, you know I'll love you no matter what."
"I do know that. Truly. But that doesn't change the fact that I like this me! Why would I want to change?"
"The Ood said our presence was required," she reminded.
He snorted. "Yeah, well, the Ood can shove it where-"
"I'm not ready yet, Rose." He leaned forward and rested his head against hers. "I want us to have more time."
Rose tilted her head and placed a gentle kiss on his lips. "So what do we do?"
The Doctor pulled back, taking her hand in his. "We run. We run and run until we're ready to stop."
She laughed. "I don't see that happening any time soon!"
"Fine by me." He grinned broadly.
They squeezed their joined hands.
To Be Continued in... Just At The End Of Time.
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