It is a cold windy day in Norway, as a lone couple walk slowly hand in hand along the damp sand of this bleak shore, the grey clouds overhead racing across the sky, the brisk wind blowing her hair into her eyes as she huddles into the shelter her companion provides. They talk quietly, almost reverently, as they walk, remembering the events of exactly one year ago; events that had lead them to be here now together.
"It all feels like a lifetime ago." he says quietly, and in reality, for him, it was. It was the start of his human life, his one and only. One life, one heart. "The one adventure I can never have." his other self had said once; now he was living that adventure, that amazing journey, with that same amazing woman by his side.
His life, his love, his Rose, he thinks to himself...and he smiles at her, the smile he reserves only for her, gaining an answering smile as her hand fingers grip his in response. They are together, in all the ways that matter; no rings or ceremonies binding them to each other. They do not need such things, this pair; needing only each other to complete the whole, fitting perfectly together like pieces of a puzzle now finished.
"I know," she says, just as quietly, understanding, "I know."
She watches the way the wind ruffles his hair and remembers all the times she had wanted to do that herself to his counterpart, jealous of the liberties the wind is taking with him. The cold permeates the thick jacket she is wearing (and this beach always seems to be like that when she is here, she thinks), and she thinks of the fantastic life she has now, in this universe, with the man by her side, laughing and loving; shivering slightly as she realises she can think of the other him now without it hurting.
Stopping for a while, he stands behind her, his arms around her as they face the waves breaking over the shore, each thinking silently of the man who had given them this amazing life together. His hand slips lower, caressing the slight swell there, the evidence of their love gently cradled within her body, and he thanks him, the TimeLord, who gave his own happiness away so she could have the life he wanted for her.
"Do you think he is happy? The Doctor?" she asks hesitantly, not wanting to break the spell, puncture the bubble of happiness she feels, but needing to know what he thinks.
He hesitates a little before replying.
"No. No, i don't think he can ever be truly happy," he sighs, "but maybe he can forget the pain for a while and enjoy...stuff." he finishes lamely, before pulling at his ear and grinning a little shamefacedly. "Sorry,...that sort of got away from me a bit."
She giggles a little as she turns to look at him, her breath suddenly catching in her chest as she catches sight of what his hand is doing. Sometimes she forgets that he is the same as the other him; that there are two of him; and things like this take her by surprise. Not as often as it had, but still often enough to bring him to mind.
"Will he know we're here, do you think?" she asks him wistfully, pushing the errant strands of hair, whipped loose from their tie, away from her face.
He thinks for a moment before shrugging and responding to her question.
He moves her out of the shelter of his arms and taking her hand in his, tugs her gently as they begin to make their way from the beach, knowing that when they return a year from now, they will be bringing a new life with them, that they will be showing the TimeLord their forever.
A universe away, a lone figure stands, impervious to the cold, near a blue box on a cold windswept beach; a tall man in a long brown overcoat, hands jammed into his pockets as the wind whips the coat around him. He stares at the horizon, his eyes far away; he is remembering the events of exactly one year ago, the events which had lead to him giving her away to his human self. The pain is still as fresh as it was that day; his love just as strong. He knows that he did what was right for her, but still he mourns for his loss - the loss of her smile, her hand in his, her love. He had wanted the life he had given her that day for himself, but knew it would never, could never be, and so he had let her go. But it had cost him.
He sighs with regret at words left unsaid, and pushes open the door of the Tardis, feeling her comforting hum in his mind, soothing his pain again...then realises it is not the Tardis in his mind easing his pain this time. It is him, the other him, the one he left with his Rose.
Focusing inwardly, he feels the connection tugging at his brain, and is suddenly flooded with images of the two of them standing on a windswept beach holding an infant. He gasps and cannot contain the joy he feels for them at this picture, whooping aloud and grinning with delight (but with eyes shadowed by pain) as a single tear falls gently down his cheek. He will not return to this place, he thinks, as he sets the Tardis in motion, and sending her into the Time Vortex he leaves Bad Wolf Bay for the last time.
But Time is tricky, and may have other ideas.