He told her that he was cursed but she didn’t see him doing anything to change it. He told her that she could stay with him forever. He told her that he wouldn’t leave her like he left all the rest. He was right. She wasn’t going to be let off somewhere like this was a bus. He was going to make her want to leave. Beg him to take her home. He wasn’t the man she wanted to be with anyway. “Is this how it’s going to end?” she scoffed.
“Rose,” he said quietly. He couldn’t look her in the eyes. He couldn’t take her hand. Maybe he didn’t want to. “I loved you,” he said, “Me, once, I loved you.”
Her eyes burned. She didn’t know if she was heartbroken or flaming mad. She couldn’t tell. Everything was just hot, her eyes, her face, her hands, her mouth. She couldn’t speak. She couldn’t even see straight. She couldn’t see the thin, handsome face that she had grown to love since he had left her. She thought they were the same only with a different face, a pinstriped shirt instead of mourning black. How could she have been so stupid?
“But I’m a different man. He loved you beyond anything in the world. He died for you-”
“You’re just trying to make me feel better.”
“I’m not. I can’t say that I have the same feelings for you.” He leaned in. “Rose,” he touched her face. His hands were cold, rough. His hands had never been cold, her Doctor’s. Somehow she knew that she had brought this on herself. Somehow she had managed to muck up the love of her life. She was just another Sarah Jane. “Rose look at me,” he lifted her chin toward him. “He would want me to give you this.” He leaned in closer and kissed her, lightly, tenderly.
Suddenly a flood of memory came back over her. Light, incredible light and heat. It was the TARDIS, the heart of the TARDIS. Of course! She had been trying to open it. She and Mickey had cracked it open and that was the last thing she saw before this light. After that she took the TARDIS. She actually flew the TARDIS to save him. Every equation every, shred of quantum physics came flooding back into her head like a great wave. She was there with him on the deck of Satellite 5. He was trying to destroy himself along with the Daleks. Trying to finish his silly Time War. But he didn’t know she would do anything to save him. She looked into time and space and divided the existence of the remaining Daleks, sending their atoms off to be reborn as hopefully peaceful creatures. From death, she made life. She brought Jack back. She brought everyone back. He told her she was going to die. He told her that she had too much energy running though her. That the heat was going to burn her.
She felt the pain, coursing through her like a million volts of electricity. He took her in his arms. He said, “I think you need a doctor.” He smiled and kissed her. His love drew the time vortex out of her and laid her down on the deck.
Why hadn’t he told her? Not enough time, she guessed. He was already half dead by the time she woke up. She had killed him and ended up with this.
“I’m sorry,” he said. She opened her eyes. It was him, her Doctor. She ran to him and held him close to her. “I’m sorry I had to leave.” He kissed her forehead. “Rose. Go on.” He brushed her hair back from her face. “Do what I said.” She nodded and stood up on her toes to kiss him again but his face melted away. She drew back quickly from the Doctor.
“You saved him. He wanted to see you one last time.”
“I thought you and me-“ she mumbled, remembering the words that she had said over and over. But they were wasted on him. He was different. He could change but she never could. She still loved her Doctor. “Take me home.”
He nodded and moved to the TARDIS controls and set the time for home. This was it, her last ride in the TARDIS. She held onto the railing and imagined he was standing there smiling, telling her that he was going to take her to the end of the world.