Sometimes it's impossible to decipher if he's awake or asleep but for the ever-present humming of the TARDIS behind each memory, as she is sleeping somewhere in his mind.
"What're you gonna do?" Her tears catch the light and burn into his mind and he can see them, her running mascara, it all is there, it's all so severe.
"Oh, I've got a TARDIS. Same old life, last of the Timelords." He can feel the words slide off his tongue, the way he has to breathe, has to swallow back emotion. The emotion is stronger, now. More pained, more ache.
"On your own?"
He nods, and his body feels stiff, it hurts to nod, to admit failure, to admit that he's alone again and even though this is just a memory he's still going to wake up and be alone and there's nothing fair in that.
"I—" Her head dips, and she tries to control her crying, tries to control her emotions. He knows what she's going to say, he can feel the words rippling off of her and while they're not words she has to say, they're words he wants to hear. Needs them, in so many ways.
"I love you." Her nose is running and there are tears streaming down her face and her makeup's a wreck and it's all so painfully clear how imperfect this moment of complete perfection is.
He wants to hold her, but he can't. Wants to say something beautiful and perfect in response, but all that comes out is:
"Quite right, too."
He can taste the tears in his eyes, and he wants to say it back. Wants to tell her how much he cares for her, too. Wants the words to come easily, wants the emotion that follows to come easier, but it doesn't.
"And...if it's my last chance to say it..." He takes a breath, and the salty water burns his nose, but he refuses to stop. "Rose Tyler..."
His eyes blink open. The Cloister Bell. Imminent danger for the TARDIS. For a moment he's still frozen to the bed, unable to move, unable to feel anything but the sun and the salt and Rose and---it's just a dream. It's just an image in his mind. He can't touch it.
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 399