Rose is adrift in the feel of him, long and tall and lean, lips needy against hers and hands hot where they curl against her back. He smells like autumn leaves and electrical smoke and melting dalekanium.
The Doctor is staying and he’s leaving, both at the same time, and nothing makes sense.
If she lets go her legs will give out, so she grips tighter, threading fingers into his hair. His words, breathless and ardent, resonate in her head, syncopated with the thrum of his single heart against her chest: I love you.
For eternity all she hears is the roar of surf and the rush of blood in her ears. Then comes a familiar keening sound, one that restores strength to her legs. She pulls her mouth away from his. The Doctor and Donna have already closed the blue double doors and the TARDIS begins to phase away, vworping to nothingness. His arms are still wrapped around her, but he doesn’t try to hold her back when she tears away and stumbles toward the fading ship.
Her panic is instinctive and all-consuming – the Doctor is gone, again. She’s been left on this godforsaken beach, without a proper goodbye, again. Every part of her is numb. Her cheeks, her chest, her legs, full of tremors and buzzing.
Everything except her hand, which is warm and steady. She looks down at familiar fingers laced with hers, hotter than they should be. He’s come to stand alongside her and stare at the empty beach where his TARDIS stood a moment ago.
Déjà vu overwhelms her: standing alongside the Doctor, watching the TARDIS vanish forever. They did this together only hours before on the main deck of the Crucible, when the Daleks plunged the TARDIS into the neutrino heart of their ship. The Doctor’s face had been a rictus of agony; Rose had gone to him, held his hand, so he wouldn’t be alone as he watched his beloved ship burn.
Rose was always the one to go to the Doctor when he needed her. Now, on this beach, losing his TARDIS once more, this new Doctor has come to Rose. Without invitation, without hesitation, without the pride that usually makes him hide his pain and need, he’s come to her. His breathing is shallow as he stares at the empty patch of sand where his ship once stood. The TARDIS was the only constant in his life for the last five hundred years, and now she’s gone.
The Doctor’s head turns and he meets Rose’s gaze. There’s grief in his expression, and scarcely-concealed panic. He must see something similar in her face, too, because his eyebrows draw together and he squeezes her hand.
He’s the Doctor, and he needs her.
She’s Rose, and she’s crossed universes for him.
Lifting her other hand, she presses it against his breast pocket, feeling the lump of TARDIS coral inside. “She’s still here. Part of her is still here.”
The Doctor rests his hand atop hers on his chest. “I’m still here, too, Rose. All of me is still here.”
Wondering why TenToo has a baby TARDIS? RTD says it’s canon.
# Even in the few minutes he has onscreen # TenToo shows so much more vulnerability than the TimeLord Doctor does # And he's going to be a much more emotionally healthy life partner for Rose # And they're going to have all the sex and all the adventures and all the happiness (and probably a few babies too) # But TenToo would be equally as distressed at the loss of his TARDIS as the TimeLord Doctor would # Which is why I so vehemently embrace the TARDIS coral deleted scene as canon # Doctor Who # The Doctor # Rose Tyler # TenToo # TenToo/Rose # OTP to end all OTPs # fanfic # ficlet
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