Doctor Who

The Doctor looked at Rose. She was sitting on one of the White House sofas repairing the loose button on his jacket, a curiously domestic thing for her to be doing. He couldn’t help thinking that when a woman decided to sew things for a man there was only one future scenario for them both.

And would that be a bad thing?

No, it wouldn’t, if he was any other man in the universe. He could think of nothing more wonderful than for her to be his in every sense of the word. But for him… it was impossible. And that hurt him more than he would ever let on to her.

Rose finished the sewing job and took his jacket back to him. Somehow, without it, he looked wrong. He had been wearing the jacket the day she met him and every day since except when they had been in specific periods of time where he would have looked TOO strange. He always changed back as soon as he had the chance.

They had spent the past three weeks on the island of Tahiti, where he took her to meet an old friend of his, the painter Paul Gauguin. Rose had spent the whole time in a bikini and a silk sarong, being painted in bright impressionist colours by day and walking on the seashore with The Doctor by the twilight, watching colourful native ritual dances under the moonlight. The whole time he had worn his same black outfit as if it was rainy Manchester rather than a tropical paradise.

But that was him and she wouldn’t have him any other way.

She held the jacket out to him and he slipped it on with a smile, transferring his sonic screwdriver to the inside pocket where it belonged and the TARDIS key and various other bits and pieces to the other pockets.

“That’s better,” he said with a smile, kissing her on the cheek. “That button’s been like that since the Autons grabbed me in the Nestene lair under the Millennium Wheel. The first time you were there for me.”

“Yeah,” she smiled. “Been a long time since then.” She glanced at her watch, intending to work out how long it had been. “Oh….”

“What’s wrong?” The Doctor asked seeing the expression on her face change so suddenly.

“Can you take me home?” she asked. “Straight there, no getting lost, to the date it ought to be by MY real time… November 6th, 2008.”

“You want to go home?” he asked.


“For good?” There was something in her face that froze him. Could it all be over so easily. “Rose….”

“Oh, no, not…. No, I don’t mean that. For a Time Lord you’re lousy at dates aren’t you? Tomorrow is the anniversary of when my dad died. I want to be with my mum when she goes up to the cemetery.”

“Oh, of course.” He tried not to sound too relieved. “You’re right about the dates. I’m an insensitive git.” As he spoke he began to punch in the co-ordinates he knew almost by heart now that would bring the TARDIS into the yard beneath Jackie’s flats, a place that it appeared so often it was almost taken for granted by the locals.

But the co-ordinate didn’t lock. He frowned and keyed it in again. It still wouldn’t accept it. He did it a third time, this time starting to worry. “Come on,” he muttered, punching buttons more and more frantically. “It’s got to be a glitch. It’s GOT to be.”

“Rose,” he said, steadying his voice. “This could take a bit of time. I could murder a hot cup of coffee….”

“What did your last slave die of,” she said with a smile on her face all the same. “First sewing, now cooking. I don’t do domestic either, you know.” But she WAS kidding him and she went to the kitchen still smiling.

He wasn’t panicking. He was a couple of notches below panic yet. SERIOUSLY worried, bordering on frantic, perhaps. He tried several different co-ordinates. Cumbria, Ireland, Wales, U.N.I.T. headquarters. None of them worked. He tried Susan’s home in the future. His hearts gave a lurch when THAT co-ordinate wouldn’t work. He tried further back in time. He EVEN tried the old junkyard in Totters Lane. Wow, was THAT co-ordinate still IN the database? Nothing worked. His level of concern went up another notch, but he was trying not to panic. He told himself Time Lords don’t panic.

They do when there’s something to panic about, his inner demons told him.

He told his inner demons to shut their traps and let him get on with the job.

Rose came in with the coffee. He took it from her with a dazed, absent expression. He didn’t even thank her for it. He didn’t even look at her. He left it on the side of the life support console. Something he NEVER did. It was dangerous leaving anything liquid on the console. Rose picked it up again.

He looked up at her finally and the expression on his face told her at once something was wrong.

“Rose… believe me,” he said. “I would never do this to you deliberately… not knowing how much you need to be there…. But I’m having trouble setting the co-ordinate for Earth.”


“I can’t….” He looked at her again and looked at the console and the reading the navigation control was insisting upon, then he turned away, unable to look her in the eye. He punched keys and swore softly in his own language. Rose put the cups down on the floor – there was nowhere else to put them – and moved closer to him. This was starting to unnerve her.

“Doctor…” She touched his arm but he turned away again from her. He took two steps away from the console and leaned against one of the coral like pillars that supported the roof. He stood very still, just like when he was in deep meditation. For nearly five long minutes, he stood there like that, then his chest heaved as he breathed in and when he breathed out it was a kind of deep, heart-rending sigh.

Rose realised that he was CRYING. It shocked her. She had seen him cry before but usually only under the most extreme pressure.

“Doctor? What is it?”

“EARTH isn’t there,” he gasped out through his suppressed sobs as he turned to her.

“What?” Rose looked at him in disbelief. “How can Earth NOT be there? That’s impossible.”

“Its gone,” he insisted. “The TARDIS can’t find its co-ordinates. I have just tried to reach the boys. There’s nothing there. I can’t even connect with them.”

Rose grabbed her mobile phone and pressed the preset for her mum. It failed just as it had done before the Doctor used his ‘jiggerypokery’ on it. He took it from her and examined it carefully and as he returned it to her he was unable to suppress a groan of despair.

“It’s gone. Just like… like Gallifrey.”

“No!” Rose said. “NO!” she screamed in grief. The Doctor took hold of her and held her tightly in his arms. She clung equally tightly to him. “Mum,” she cried. “My mum!”

“Susan,” he sobbed. “I thought… I thought Susan and the children were safe there.”

“Oh!” Rose almost forgot her own grief as she realised what it meant to him. After not having a family for so long he had got them back only for this to happen.

“What happened?” she asked. “What is it?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “That’s the worst of it. I just don’t know.”

He turned to the console, still holding onto Rose tightly. She was, as far as he could see, the only part of Earth that existed and he didn’t WANT to let her go. He was AFRAID to let her go.

“We’re in your solar system now,” he said. “And look….” He brought up a schematic of the solar system and it was clear that Earth was not there. Between Venus and Mars there was a huge empty area where Earth should orbit. When he tried to bring the TARDIS into that sector it seemed to reject the co-ordinate as if it didn’t exist. Every time he tried to bring it near something pushed the TARDIS back to the edge of the system. He stopped trying, afraid the forces would be too much for the ancient engines.

“It didn’t blow up,” he said. “There would be debris.”

Rose shuddered.

“But it’s still not there. That’s not MUCH consolation.”

“That wasn’t what I meant. Planets blowing up are… well… NORMAL. This is not normal. This is strange. The planet seems to have been removed from existence… from history. I’ve been trying different times – your time, Susan’s time, historical periods. I can’t lock on in any of them. It’s as if its been erased from existence.”

“Can that happen?”

“Yes.” The lack of detail to go with that very definite YES was chilling.

“Then why am I still here? I’m from Earth.”

“You’re in the TARDIS.” He said. “It shields us from temporal anomalies.”

“So… I only exist in here? If I leave the TARDIS….”

“I don’t know,” The Doctor said again, a control freak whose life was suddenly beyond his control, out of ideas, frustrated and grieving deeply. “I don’t know. I don’t know. I DON’T KNOW!”

He screamed the last and turned abruptly from the console, losing his footing as he did so and falling awkwardly onto the floor. Instead of picking himself up again he stayed there.

Rose knew he was crying again. She was scared and grief-stricken and to see him the same, only ten times worse, frightened her even more. He was the one she depended on. If he lost it, where did it leave her?

She knelt and put her arms around him. She did understand WHY it affected him. It was not so long since Gallifrey was destroyed and he lost everyone in his life but a few fragments of his family on Earth. Now Earth was gone and he was going through the same grief all over again. He was feeling it much worse than she was. And she felt like….

Like her world had collapsed.

“We have each other.” She sounded much braver than she was as she held him around the shoulders and kissed his tear-stained face. “We’ll always have each other. Even if it means I have to stay in the TARDIS forever… I’ll do that and be with you.”

“Yes,” he said, looking around at her. “Yes, we have each other.” His spirits rallied a little, but he did’nt have the energy to carry him to his feet yet. They were a frozen tableau, clinging to each other on the TARDIS floor for a long, long time. Neither was entirely sure how long.

The TARDIS suddenly stopped with a crunch that would have knocked them over if they were not already on the floor. Almost immediately they were aware of something strange happening. The Doctor rose to his feet and lifted Rose with him as a white light filled the TARDIS in front of the main door.

He stepped forward, shielding Rose against any possible danger with his own body. As the light became blinding enough for his Gallifreyan eyes to shield themselves and Rose to glance away, blinking, a figure began to appear in the midst of it.

The Doctor saw at once that it was dressed in the regalia of the Gallifreyan High Council. His hearts lurched. How could that be? Gallifrey was dead. The High Council was dead.

As the apparition solidified, The Doctor stared in disbelief and then, to Rose’s amazement, he fell to his knees and bowed his head as she had seen the SangC’lune people do to HIM when they paid homage to him as their living God. He had told her many times that there were no gods on Gallifrey. They worshipped nothing and nobody.

“My Lord,” The Doctor said. “I am honoured and humbled by your presence.”

“Chrístõdavõreendiam?ndh?rtmallõupdracœfiredelunmiancuimhne de Lœngbærrow…” the apparition said.

“My Lord…” The Doctor said again, deeply affected by the fact that the apparition knew his name.

“Do not fear. I am pleased with you.”

“I am honoured by your praise,” he said, still bowing his head.

“Son of Lœngbærrow,” the apparition continued. “Last and most courageous of the Time Lords; greatest of our race. Stand and look at me.”

“Sire…” The Doctor did as the apparition said, but almost reluctantly. “My Lord Rassilon….”

At that Rose understood his behaviour. She wasn’t sure what SHE ought to do. She wanted to go to him, but this might be something only he was supposed to be involved in.

“Greatest?” The Doctor said, finding his voice at last. “I do not mean to question you, My Lord, but I would not claim….”

“Your humility does you credit, Son of Gallifrey,” Rassilon said. “You are the greatest because you rose above the vices of our race. Foolish, foolish arrogance, so sure of their own self-righteousness. The last of the Time Lords is the outcast half-blood. How they fume at the irony. But perhaps you have the purer hearts after all. You were the one with the wit to know that you could not stand idly by and let the universe become a place where evil reigned unchecked. You fought alone against our enemies for centuries. You alone survived the Time War and though Gallifrey was destroyed you prevented it from being erased from time and ensured it was remembered. And you have begun the renewal of our race with the education of your blood kin.”

“You know about….”

“I know, and I am pleased. The new race of Time Lords will ALL be half bloods, their DNA fused with that of Human… as yours is, Son of Gallifrey and Earth. And they will be better for it. Compassion and humility will temper their arrogance.”

“But….” The Doctor cried out loud as he faced the vision of Rassilon. “But they are dead. I failed.”

“No,” Rassilon insisted, and The Doctor and Rose both felt a shred of hope where there had been nothing but despair. “But I will let another speak. One who is dear to you.”

As Rassilon faded away an elderly man with a white beard and hair stepped out of thin air and came right up to The Doctor.

“Chrístõ, my son,” the man said and Rose, the mere spectator in this knew it was no mere figure of speech by the look on The Doctor’s face. The old man put out a hand and Rose was sure it would be an illusion, but when his palm touched The Doctor’s cheek in a caress that seemed familiar – The Doctor touched her that way often – he raised his hand and put it over the old man’s, pressing it closer.

“Father,” he whispered hoarsely.

“You have suffered so much,” his father said. “You have lived so few years by our measurement of time and yet lost so many of your lives cruelly and painfully. You have seen so much you ought not to have seen. I am sorry you have hurt so much, my dear boy. But I am proud of you. Your Human side gives you that courage. We… the purebloods… we were the cowards. YOU, my son, the half-blood, are the best of us. And the fates dealt kindly with us by letting you survive our downfall.”

“Father,” The Doctor said again, and in his nine hundred and fifty year old features there was something of the boy who had loved his father deeply. “You don’t understand. I failed. Earth is gone. Our future is gone.”

“No,” his father said. “It is not. It is simply hidden.”

“Hidden?” He heard Rose gasp with relief but he could not quite let himself believe it yet. “How? Why?”

“To preserve our future,” his father said “Earth has been hidden behind a time and space envelope strong enough to project into the past and future and make it invisible to all who would do it harm. The children will be safe from any malignancy as they grow up on planet Earth. The planet will not be attacked again by any extra-terrestrial force.”

“But HOW do I get back there?” he asked. “My TARDIS can’t find Earth. I can’t REACH the children by telepathy. Even Rose’s phone won’t work.”

“That was an oversight,” his father admitted. “It will be rectified. You will have the key to the envelope.”

“I don’t understand,” Rose said coming to The Doctor and taking his hand in hers. She felt it tremble but he looked at her with a grateful smile and squeezed her hand in acknowledgement. “You’re all DEAD.” She looke straight at the apparition of his father. “How can you do anything?”

“Answer her,” The Doctor told him. “She is entitled to know as much as I do about this.”

“Yes. We are all dead. Too many of us died unprepared on the Last Day. But through Rassilon some of us do still have some residual power. Those of us who had strong telepathic abilities when we were alive still manage to hold onto a plane of reality. I – as the father of the one who remains - I am their link to you, my son. The only living Time Lord.”

“Christopher?” The Doctor looked at his father and asked a question with that one word that carried far more weight than it appeared. “Is he… could I see him?” Rose remembered that was the name he and his wife had called his son by, even though he had a long traditional Gallifreyan name as well. He wanted to see his son’s ghost appear before him. But his father’s apparition shook his head sadly.

“We have never been able to find his essence in any plane or dimension. I have LOOKED for a long time. I am sorry. But you cared for his child. You gave her your courage and wisdom and she in her turn has opened the way for our race to live again.”

“I would have liked to see him again, even as a ghost,” The Doctor said and he looked terribly sad as he spoke. “But… what you’re telling me… is that through my great grandchildren… through Chris and Davie… the Time Lords can live again.”

“Yes. YOU are patriarch of the new dynasty that will rise once more to greatness in the fullness of time.”

“But how? That would mean that Chris and Davie would have children of their own eventually who would in turn be Time Lords. But WE can’t have children with Human women without the technology that died with Gallifrey. And where ELSE can it happen? You’d better not be talking about cloning. We are people not pot plants. We cannot be grown from cuttings. I will have no part in THAT.”

“Rassilon effected some changes when he placed Earth in the time envelope. He has placed a genetic marker in the Human race. It means first and foremost that when Humans go into space THEY and their descendents alone WILL be able to locate the planet of their birth and return to it. But it also has the secondary effect of making our two races compatible.”

“Rassilon is a wise man,” The Doctor said slowly as this news sank in. “But he has forgotten two things. First, that means that Earth – and my children who live on it – are protected from all species BUT the Human race. Don’t be so sure Humans wouldn’t wreak enough havoc by themselves. I know them better than you do or Rassilon for all his wisdom. And second.…” He pressed Rose close to him as he spoke. “This genetic marker…. We… Rose and I… were outside the envelope… outside of Rassilon’s influence?”


“So what you’re telling me,” The Doctor’s voice rose in sudden anger. “Is that I could successfully mate with any woman on Earth… except the one I LOVE and WANT to be with.”

“My son….” his father spoke gently. “You KNOW you should not even think about such a relationship again. You were hurt enough the first time.”

“That’s STILL none of your business, father,” he snapped. “But it’s true, isn’t it?”

“Its true,” his father sighed. “Rose IS the only Human without that genetic marker because she was here with you, protected by the TARDIS from all influences and anomalies. But, my son, you misunderstand why this was done. It was NOT for you. As much as you may long for a second chance, as much as you grieve for your son who was taken from you, this is for the FUTURE generations, for Chris and Davie and their children and their children’s children.”

“That isn’t fair,” The Doctor said.

“I thought I cured you of THAT worthless complaint when you were ten years old, my boy. The universe is NOT fair. We just have to make the best of it. And you have - without any help from anyone. But what you have done is not just for the glory of the House of Lœngbærrow, it is for the survival of our people through you and your blood.”

“I didn’t do it for any of you,” he said. “I did it because the boys mean the world to me. That’s all. There was no great plan.”

“No, but you set one in motion anyway. And it is a great one. Be proud. In a hundred thousand years your name will be spoken of among the new Gallifreyans as Rassilon’s was among our people.”

“You think that matters to me?”

“Yes,” his father said. “I think it DOES. More than you will admit. You were always proud and you were always stubborn.”

“No more than you,” he responded. “We’re two of a kind.”

“Then let us not fight, my son,” his father answered him in a gentler voice. “My time is too short. And it has been too long since we talked.”

“Father…” The Doctor whispered. “I.…”

His words died on his lips, but the apparition of the old man drew closer again and put his hands either side of The Doctor’s face. He kissed him on the forehead before fading gently away.

“Wait,” he said in a strangely weak voice. “Wait… what about the key….”

“I think that’s it,” Rose said pointing. He turned to see a slowly revolving ‘key’ hanging in mid-air above the TARDIS console. It was a shield-shaped object about a foot long, made of a grey metal that caught the light as it turned to show that it bore the seal of Rassilon on both sides.

Both of them reached for it at once and as their hands touched it, it disappeared, but they felt the jolt like an electric shock. At the same moment Rose’s mobile phone began ringing insistently and The Doctor winced as he felt the telepathic communication with Chris and Davie opened up and both boys began talking to him at once.

Rose answered her phone. The Doctor grasped hold of a pillar and focussed his mind on replying to the children. Meanwhile, without them even realising, the TARDIS locked onto the co-ordinate for London in Rose’s time and had landed in the yard behind the flats.

“I don’t know about you,” The Doctor said when he DID realise. “But I could really use a cup of tea at your mum’s.”

“Oh, me too,” Rose said. “Are you all right?” She looked at him with more than casual concern. He still looked totally wrecked from the emotional wringer he had gone through in the past few hours.

“I have a lot to think about,” he said. “So do you. Later, we should talk. There is much that was said that you are entitled to explanations for. But right now….”

“Tea,” Rose said insistently. “Come on.”

Jackie was glad to see her, of course. She was even civil to The Doctor. She made tea and small talk, and after the day they’d had small talk was as much as they could manage. Jackie couldn’t fail to notice that except when they were eating they held hands tightly. They sat together on the sofa and The Doctor kept his arm around Rose’s shoulder. Jackie wondered what was behind it. When they arrived they BOTH looked as if they had been upset somehow. She wondered at first if they’d been rowing. But the looks that passed between them and the hand holds weren’t the sort of thing she expected in the aftermath of a row, and at bedtime she very firmly laid down the law about where everyone would sleep. The Doctor was strictly confined to the sofa and not allowed anywhere near Rose’s room.

But she didn’t say Rose had to stay away from the sofa, and as he lay quietly, though not sleeping, because he didn’t need or want to sleep, she slipped back to the living room.

He half sat up propped against the sofa back as she sat next to him. She laid her head on his chest and listened to his heartsbeat, one hand over his left heart.

“You told your father you love me and want to be with me,” she said, bringing up one of the most central issues of many they needed to talk about.

“Yes,” he said. “You know I love you, Rose. And I know you love me. And I want you in my life for as long as that is possible.”

“Even though it’s impossible for us to be REALLY together?”

“We ARE really together,” he said, holding her closer in his arms. “There isn’t much more together we could be.”

“Yes there is. And you know it. What you said about being able to mate with any other woman on Earth but me….”

“Lousy choice of words. ‘Mate’ – I’m not some endangered species that has to be in a breeding programme.”

“Well… you ARE though,” she said. “And… Well….”

“Rose…” he said warningly. “I know what you’re thinking. Don’t….”

“Even if I don’t have the genetic marker, we could TRY couldn’t we? It’s not impossible. You had a Human mother, and your wife….”

“It’s too dangerous,” he said. “I never told you… or anyone…. But my mother died too young because of the strain on her heart of carrying and giving birth to me. I don’t know the whole of it, you understand. My role in these things was somewhat passive. But she was left a virtual invalid afterwards, hardly able to walk unaided, short of breath, weak… She died when I was just a youngster. My father was torn apart by losing her. And I ought to have learnt the lesson from that but I WAS an idiot. I went right out there and fell in love with Julia. They had come up with some solutions to the difficulties by then. There were drugs available that, if administered daily, allowed a Human woman to carry a Gallifreyan baby the full sixteen months. But it was still difficult. The strain, especially in the last months, was dreadful. I looked at her every day and hated myself for the pain I had caused her through my ambition to have an heir to our line. She went through hell for two solid days to bring my son into the world, and it messed her up so much we knew she could never have another baby.” He paused and looked at Rose. “We no longer have the drugs or the medical knowledge. All that was lost with Gallifrey.”

“I would be willing to try,” she said.

“I’m not willing to risk it. Your mother would kill ME,” he said. “I promised to keep you from harm. I do not mean to inflict harm on you for my own satisfaction.”

“Its not fair,” Rose said.

“My father was right about THAT. Life isn’t fair. The universe isn’t fair. It trips us up at every opportunity. And as if that wasn’t hard enough… I know it’s the one reason you might want, at some time, to leave me. So that you can have what any woman WOULD want, the one thing I CAN’T give you.”

“No,” she said. “If never having a baby of my own is the price I have to pay to be with you then I am willing to pay it. He said that you weren’t destined to be a father again. Ok. But he didn’t say we weren’t destined to be together. We have a good thing going. And I’m not going anywhere without you.”

“Oh, Rose!” In the darkened room he knew she couldn’t properly see him, but he could see her and he saw the tears in the corner of her eyes. The decision was a hard one for her. But she had made it, and for all the selfish reasons that made him want to keep her with him he couldn’t stop a smile coming to his lips.

“All right. I accept that for the time being. But… if you should regret that promise… if you DO feel that need… I won’t hold you back. That’s MY promise to you.”

He meant it. But as hard as her decision was now, he knew he would have to make as much of a sacrifice for her if she DID decide her priorities should be different.

“I won’t,” she said. “I want to be with you, no matter what else I have to give up.” She wrapped her arms about him and held him as close as she could.

“It was strange though,” she said as she lay there. “Rassilon appearing like that. And you… I never thought there was anyone you would bow to.”

“Rassilon is the only man I DO bow to. Oh, it was a shock. We all know his face, of course. It's imprinted on us. And there were statues, icons. But to see him there before me – even though I know it was just a psychic projection – My Lord and Creator telling me to stand and look at him – as an equal. That was pretty incredible. Then my father telling me that in the future MY name will be whispered with the same awe. I NEEDED some of Jackie’s cooking and a night on this bloody uncomfortable sofa to bring me back to reality, I can tell you that.”

“I wonder WHAT name they will whisper in a hundred thousand years,” Rose said. “I hope it's the short version or their religious ceremonies will be VERY tedious.”

The Doctor burst out laughing.

“Oh, I definitely need a dose of Tyler logic now and then to keep me sane.” He sighed and hugged her again. “It was good seeing my father again. Even like that. I wish I could have seen my Christopher, too.”

“Your son.”

“Yes. I was so proud of him. He… if he’d lived… he’d have been a greater figure in our Gallifreyan society than either me or my father. He was brilliant. Disciplines I struggled to succeed in came easy to him and those I was best at he surpassed me. And unlike me he actually CARED about our political system. He had so much to give. But stupid, stupid, petty jealousies destroyed him so utterly that even the ghosts of our people cannot feel any part of his existence among them. It’s as if he is BEYOND dead.”

“Or maybe NOT dead?” Rose said. “Is it possible? If his spirit isn’t among them….”

The Doctor looked at her for a moment and his hearts twanged with a new and startling possibility. “No. It can’t be,” he said after a long pause. “The pyramid was black.”

That settled it then. Christopher WAS dead. So dead even the ghosts didn’t know where to find him. THAT was possibly the saddest part of the web of inter-related tragedies that was The Doctor’s life.

Rose remembered when she first met him, how reluctant he had been to tell her anything about himself, and how slowly it had all come out, piece by painful piece as she gained his trust and love. She wondered if she knew all his secrets even now, and doubted it.

“Your father was worried about you,” she said presently.

“Yes, I know,” The Doctor sighed.

“He didn’t want you to be with me. He ought to swap notes with my mum.”

“Yes,” The Doctor laughed. Though he knew his father’s reasons were more logical than Jackie’s. He didn’t want him grieving sixty years or so from now when his beautiful Rose was an elderly woman dying on him. His reason made sense.

“You shouldn’t have been mad at him when he went away,” Rose told him. “Even if he IS already dead, you shouldn’t have done that. You should have told him you loved him. You don’t know if you will ever have a chance to try again.”

“It used to be different when I was younger. We… drifted. Bitterness set in. It feels like every conversation we’ve had in five hundred years has been that way. I guess him being dead doesn’t change anything.”

Of course they didn’t need words. When his father had put his hands on his face and kissed him, a million emotions, love strongest of all, had passed between them both in a heartsbeat. But Rose was right. He SHOULD have said it. He should have said it EVERY time they had spoken in the past five centuries.

“And you lot think you’re a superior intellect? You’re no better than us when it comes to relationships.”

“You’re right there,” The Doctor laughed again and hugged her tightly. “WE do okay though, don’t we? We haven’t had too many domestics in the TARDIS.”

“Only because I’d slap you one if you started,” Rose said. But it was true. The TARDIS had been her home for three years now and they had spent as much time together, maybe more, as any married couple. They NEVER had any problems that weren’t over as soon as they began. They WERE made for each other.

“Go on now, Rose,” he told her after holding her for a little longer. “Away to bed and get some sleep. You’ve an important day tomorrow. You should sleep.” He gave her one tender goodnight kiss before she went to her bed and he lay down again feeling that, if some things were not entirely resolved, they were settled for now.