It had taken a lot of effort, but he had finally done it. A rose colored pink and yellow, just like his Rose. This first batch glowed beautifully under the light in the TARDIS and his heart swelled with pride and longing.
Rose would never be able to see these, not while she was trapped. He gave a soft wet laugh, pressing his palms to his eyes, refusing to cry. He had cried enough, no more tears now. After a last shaky breath and a sigh, he gave the rose a last caress and headed out of the TARDIS. His first adventure alone since Rose...
The loss of Rose did not keep him down for long, he was determined not to hurt, but it was obvious to his companions that he missed Rose. There was an ache of longing that was buried in his chest, thrumming through his hearts and he didn’t know if he could ever love someone like that again.
But he would never see her again, and that’s what made it just so much worse.
Except, it hadn’t been. Somehow, far beyond his expectations, she came back to him. Of course, not everything was perfect. There was a second version of himself and Donna, oh Donna - she had been so brave - was breaking down. But he would be able to see her one last time.
The TARDIS landed back on Bad Wolf Bay, and he tucked the pink and yellow rose behind her ear. “A rose for Rose,” he said softly, kissing her forehead. “I’ll miss you,” he pulled back, a sad smile on his face.
This would be the last time. There would be no going back now, or ever again. It would cause too many complication. Besides, she had her own Doctor now. And maybe, just maybe, that would make it better.