She could deny him nothing, not on his deathbed, not with his face so wrinkled and hers so smooth. Not when his chocolate brown eyes were dulled with the weight of many years and hers were still bright with the stars. So she clasped his hand and leaned down, her blonde hair cascading in a wall as if to shield them from the outside world, and he whispered in her ear, "Find him."
Dimension cannons and white walls and lights gone from her hazel eyes. She hated it all.
"Rose?" asked her assistant, a man whose name she didn't dare to learn (because they all left her in the end anyways).
He noticed the steeliness in her eyes and in her voice, and said nothing.
She worked. She would work on that cannon until the day she died—if it came to that. But then the golden light would return and she'd wake with a gasp, cursing destiny and fate and every deity that ever existed.
She worked, because now she knew what it felt like to be alone.
The Void hit her like a wave of cold water, freezing her to the core for the barest of seconds. Then she landed on the pavement of some backwoods country road in the dead of night and was blinded by lights. She stepped aside, blinking spots from her vision, as the car sped by her, honking. She pulled her jacket tighter around her, set new coordinates, and off she went.
When she touched down again, she sighed. Some things never changed.
The first time she saw the TARDIS, she almost started to cry.
It was a brighter blue than she remembered, but it was the TARDIS, it was home, and it was all she really wanted. She stroked the wooden door and fished out her key before thinking better of it—what if he was inside? Would he even be her Doctor anymore? Would he have replaced her again?
So she hid behind a tree (how original) and waited. Soon, as predicted, two men and a woman came bounding up to the door. The girl, young with fiery red hair and never-ending legs, said something that made one of the men laugh.
The man in question could be no one else but the Doctor; the floppy hair, tweed jacket, and bowtie were dead giveaways. He stood back to let his two companions through, still laughing, then went inside himself. A few seconds later, the TARDIS faded, and all hopes of reunion with it.
Rose tried (and failed) not to wish she was the one who had made him laugh, and disappeared again.
She followed him.
She wasn't the only one.
The first time she faced the Silence, she was scared out of her wits.
It wasn't a thing, exactly. More like a presence or a consciousness. It overwhelmed her mind and drove her to her knees, but with a tough, "No," she was back up, gold light and the whole of time and space running through her veins. She raised her hand, but before the Silence could fall to dust, it disappeared.
She wept as the golden light faded.
Rose saw everything.
Every little adventure, detour, alien threat, and she was there, beating back the Silence. She just wanted him safe; he had no idea of the danger he was in. She took it all, every blow. And some days she cursed her immortality but it all came down to the fact that this was her job now, this was her life. She wouldn't trade it for the world.
So she beat the shadows back and danced between raindrops, and never regretted a second.
They first came face to face on a beach.
She was walking along the pier, going only far enough to keep the TARDIS within eyesight behind her. There were storm clouds gathering in the sky and the wind was strong and bitterly cold. No one was outside. It was her, all alone, just golden hair and a leather jacket.
A voice from behind stopped her cold.
"I thought you might be following me."
Rose steeled herself before turning around, lest all her hopes of a happy reunion be crushed. She turned slowly, ever so slowly, avoiding his eyes, determined that she'd never know their color. Instead she focused on his tweed jacket and bright red bowtie, head ducked like a child caught in the act of stealing.
"Rose, look at me."
She can't, oh god she can't; her heart was on the verge of being shattered and already the tears have gathered. She won't let them spill, but—
His hand, soft, warm, took her chin and gently tilted it upwards.
His eyes were green.
Rose told him everything, sitting on the pier that day. Her Doctor's death, her return, the Silence. He would not—could not?—let go of her hand, and those eyes were so full of love she thought she might explode from happiness.
Then they walked back to the TARDIS. Home. Home at last.
From that day forth, they (they; she had never loved plurals so much) beat the shadows back and danced between raindrops. Together. The Doctor and Rose Tyler, in the TARDIS, just as it should be.
Funny how a word that once was a curse now held so much promise.