If he could admit it, he’d say that he was grateful for Rose Tyler. Maybe he couldn’t admit it aloud - yet - but he was working on it, and well, surely she knew how much she meant to him already?
He hadn’t been in this body long. He’d met some people along the way, saved some planets and helped a couple of civilizations - all before Rose Tyler, but it had always felt so lonely.
But not anymore. Not with Rose around.
His memories were fuzzy, but he remembered the invaluable companionships of humans. He’d acknowledged that those friendships had been important to his other incarnations, but the depth of emotion he’d once felt for them had faded somewhat. He wondered if that was because of the cruel endlessness of his time. Of course, he missed them, or maybe he just missed someone - a person to run with him into adventures?
So having Rose Tyler at his side had certainly been refreshing. She’d kept his dark thoughts at bay, and her resolve and courage had showed him more value for life rather than give into casualties.
(It was a good feeling when everyone lived, when frightened children were relieved and families and towns were spared hardships in the end.)
He admitted that he found joy in that - in saving people and interfering when he could just walk away. He owed that to Rose. And whenever his dark thoughts got the better of him, when his old instincts tried to draw him back from the fight, she smiled at him. Tears moistened in her eyes and she stepped forward with courage and resolve, and she inspired him to move forward. She moved him to hold onto that feeling in his hearts a little bit longer - the feeling of compassion.
Sometimes he wondered who he was without Rose. This was a relatively new regeneration, and if not for Rose’s involvement, he wondered what his purpose would be.
The more he took her hand… The more he balked to her smile and felt a smile form of his own… The Doctor knew that Rose was important to him. She was more than just a companion to him. He felt something that he couldn’t describe, and it almost frightened him to dwell on such feelings at all.
Would he do anything for Rose Tyler? Maybe he was too young, too foolish to see anything more from her.
Yes, he was scared, but he wouldn’t admit that either. When she leaned against him, their hands entwined and her head on his shoulder, he almost wished time would stop. Then, maybe he’d have a chance to think it through, to find the courage to convey to Rose just what she meant to him - and just what he needed from her.
The Bad Wolf was looming over them, becoming a pressing shadow of constant worry. The mystery was something he couldn’t resist, but the endgame? Did it mean their ultimate doom or just a final goodbye?
In front of the sunset, the Doctor held Rose close. He couldn’t think of those things now, not when it was so peaceful for once, not when they’d captured a rare moment of rest amongst all the running.
He knew they’d have to deal with the Bad Wolf eventually. Until then he enjoyed Rose, his faithful companion and more. Her soft breathing near him lulled him into a comfortable silence, and her warmth against him was just enough to soothe his fears and keep the snarling wolves away.
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