During the day he searches for ways to bring her back to him. That or a way to say goodbye to her. He can’t bear to think he won’t be able to do either.
So preoccupied is he with this task, that hours pass by without him pausing for food or rest. He didn’t sleep all that often before she was pulled into the parallel world and now it’s more of an impossible task than ever. Sleep was always such a waste of precious time (he used to resent every second she spent asleep and not with him) and never more so than now.
It is possibly because of this reduction in his time sleeping that it takes him a few weeks to realise he’s having nightmares, always the same one, every single time he closes his eyes long enough to sleep to claim him.
It starts with her voice. Her sweet, gentle voice, twisted with anger and hate, snakes its way through his dreams, coldly telling him that she was glad to leave him, she couldn’t have waited another second to go. She says she never cared about him and especially after he regenerated all she kept travelling with him for was the lifestyle, the TARDIS, travelling. Not him.
She tells him she doesn’t love him, never did, never could.
Somehow, in the midst of his anguish at her uncharacteristically harsh words, her voice morphs into her mother’s.
Jackie’s louder voice is cruel and spoke what he’d always suspected. What he’d feared since the day he met her.
She tells him that he wasn’t good enough for Rose, not for her daughter and he never would be. She tells him they both hate him for putting Rose through unconscionable terror. She tells him she hopes he never comes back and she hopes he leaves Rose alone for her to live a proper life, happily with her family surrounding her.
Jackie’s voice becomes colder, more metallic, crying into the night ‘Delete, delete!’ while Rose sobs over her mother’s metal Cyberman body and his hearts break. Then the Daleks join in the torture, hemming his beautiful Rose in on all sides, moving closer to her weeping terrified form. As the vicious cry of ‘Exterminate!’ fills the air, she reaches out for him, his Rose but try as he might he can’t reach her. He tries so hard to touch her hand while she yells and pleads for him to help her but he can’t.
He struggles desperately and finally his fingertips make contact with hers, but he hardly manages to grasp her thin digits for more than a few seconds before the pull from the void drags her out of his reach and he can’t follow.
He watches as the horror from his reality invades his dreams, pulling her screaming towards the gaping nothingness of the void.
Finally, before he wakes up in a sweaty tangle of limbs and blankets, he hears her voice softly saying his name and staring up at him in wide-eyed adoration before the wall closes over her face and removes her from his view forever.
His hand is still outstretched, trying to contact hers when he wakes and finds his bed, his room and the TARDIS empty. He cradles his head in his hands and misses her.
Every night it takes him just a little bit longer to pull himself together, but he does. He has to if he has the slightest chance of seeing her again. He tells himself he will see her again, he has to. He needs to.
Then, after weeks of torment by night and anguish by day, he discovers it. A tiny gap in the universe, not enough to bring her through like he desires, but enough to send her a goodbye, enough to see her beautiful face and hear her wonderful, strong voice for the last time.
So he starts the preparation, whispering her name lovingly across the stars, knowing she will hear him, just as he imagines he hears her calling him every day. Only this time it’s real.
A tear falls down his cheek and he calls her to him one last time.