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The Beginning of Forever

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“Jenny, you take Tony,” Rose said, handing her brother to her daughter. “Just make sure he doesn’t drop the rings.”

“I still can’t believe you and dad have just had these,” Jenny said, looking at the simple silver bands with Gallifreyan engraved on the insides.

“Your father has had them,” Rose laughed. “I didn’t know anything about them. Apparently he had a feeling that when I decided it was time, we’d just do it right away, and he wanted to be prepared, so he had them specially made not long after we got engaged.”

“Dad actually thought things through ahead of time?” Jenny joked.

“Don’t give him such a hard time,” Rose chuckled. “He does occasionally.”

“Shouldn’t have left me alone with companion club so long today,” Jenny grinned.

“I’ll keep that in mind in the future,” Rose grinned wryly. “Now go on. I’ll be out in just a minute.”

Jenny hugged her mum one last time and did as she said, taking Tony outside the TARDIS. They were holding the wedding on the same planet Rose had promised to stay with the Doctor forever. The others had all gone on outside and were waiting. They weren’t doing bridesmaids or groomsman, just Jenny as the flower girl and Tony as the ring bearer. The Brig would officiate the human part of the ceremony, and the Doctor would take care of the Gallifreyan part, with Jenny helping where needed.

The only people left in the TARDIS were Rose and Jackie.

“Oh, sweetheart, I’m so, so proud of you,” Jackie said, pulling Rose into a tight hug.

“Thanks, Mum. I’m so glad you’re here.”

“I know today isn’t the day to bring up the bad times, and I won’t even mention his name, but after all that, I worried today wouldn’t ever come. Even when you were dating Mickey, I was never sure you’d really be this happy. I always hoped you’d find someone you loved as much as I loved your father, but I really worried you’d never really feel safe enough to let yourself love anyone like that. But with the Doctor, much as I worried about him when you met, I can see that you do love him. And he loves you too, love,” Jackie said, tears pooling in her eyes.

“I know, mum. He really is everything I ever needed. With the Doctor, I’m good enough, just as I am. And there is no part of me that’s worried he could ever be like Jimmy. I mean this both literally and figuratively, but they’re not even the same species,” Rose said, crying a little herself.

“I’m sorry I missed so much,” Jackie said, “but I’m glad I can be here for this.”

“Mum, would you give me away?” Rose asked. “I know that traditionally it’s the dad that does it, but you’re the one that’s always been there for me. Also, I know I’m not property to be passed on from one person to another, but I sort of appreciate the gesture.”

“Oh love,” Jackie cried, pulling Rose into another tight hug. “Of course I will!”

They made their way through the TARDIS, but when they got to the console room, Rose stopped. “Go on out and wait for me, Mum. I just need a second with the TARDIS.”

Normally, Jackie would have mumbled something about talking to spaceships, but today she just smiled and nodded, stepping out to let Rose do what she needed.

Rose made her way over to the console and put a hand on the rotor. “Well Old Girl, when I first came aboard did you ever think we’d end up here?”

The TARDIS replied and flashed her lights and Rose laughed. “Right, right, time ship, you definitely knew this was a possibility. But you could’ve told me. Would have saved loads of heartbreak, you know?”

The TARDIS didn’t reply, and Rose knew it was because she didn’t have to. After the year-that-never-was, the TARDIS had explained that they had needed to grow up and come into their relationship on their own for it to work. And despite all the pain and uncertainty of the time, Rose was thankful for it. There was no question or doubt in her mind now. They had had to work for this, but that made it all the sweeter. Rose pressed a kiss to the console and tried to push all of her thanks, appreciation, and love toward the TARDIS. “Thank you for everything,” she whispered.

With that, Rose stepped out of the TARDIS and took her mum’s arm before beginning to make her way down the makeshift aisle toward the Doctor.

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When Rose stepped out of the TARDIS and took her mother’s arm, the Doctor actually stopped breathing until his respiratory bypass kicked in and reminded him. She was gorgeous. He couldn’t believe he was lucky enough to be marrying her. After the Time War, when he was the last of his species, he hadn’t believed that he would ever have good things in his life again. He was certain he didn’t deserve it. He was still sure he didn’t deserve the angel walking down the aisle towards him, but he had learned better than to mention that to her. He wasn’t sure anyone could possibly deserve her. She had saved him, taken the broken husk that he was after the Time War and brought him back to life. And now, he had not only her, but their daughter, who was standing beside him, holding on to her uncle’s small hand.

When Rose met his eyes, all thoughts left his mind and he grinned back at her uncontrollably. He couldn’t help it, his happiness was just overflowing. It felt like ages that it took her to finally reach him, and it felt like the blink of an eye. When Jackie and Rose reached him, Jackie gave Rose a kiss on the cheek and passed Rose’s hand onto the Doctor as Rose handed her bouquet to Jenny. She turned to walk down to her seat, then stopped, turned back, and kissed the Doctor’s cheek too before finally sitting next to Pete.

Sir Alistair cleared his throat and began, “We are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of the Doctor and Rose Tyler. While I don’t yet have the pleasure of knowing Miss Tyler, I do know the Doctor well enough to know that she must be something really special. The two of you will never have an easy life, constantly travelling and saving the universe, but what does that matter, so long as you’re together? Anyone can see how much you love each other, so hold on to that, through the good times and that bad. The Doctor has told me that you’ve chosen to say your own vows, so Doctor, when you’re ready, you may begin.”

“Rose Tyler, my pink and yellow human,” he said with a soft smile, turning to face her. “When I first met you, I was so broken. I thought all hope was lost, and couldn’t see much point in going on. Then you showed up in my life again and again. A part of me thought that there must be something special about you, that you’d constantly bump into me, but I had no idea. When you first turned me down, I was devastated. Plenty of potential companions had turned me down over the years, but I was always able to brush it off. Until you. No, I knew I couldn’t go on without you, so, in a unique moment for me, I asked again. And it was the best decision I ever made. I realize now I was already in love with you, though I’d never have admitted it at the time. And I only fell more and more in love with you every day. I may have messed up along the way, and taken far too long to admit it, but I have loved you this whole time. I wish I could promise you now that I won’t mess up, or be an idiot about any of this anymore, but I can’t do that. I know myself too well. I’ll probably mess up more times than I can possibly imagine, but as long as you’re by my side, I know things will turn out right. So, while I can’t promise to always get it right, here’s what I can promise you: I will love you with both my hearts till the day I die. They’re yours, Rose Tyler. Forever.”

Then Sir Alistair turned to Rose. “Rose, when you’re ready.”

“My Doctor,” Rose smiled. “When I stumbled into that shop basement that evening, I had no idea that my life was going to change. I didn’t know what I was missing. This life, with you, it’s a better life. And I don't mean all the travelling and seeing aliens and spaceships and things. That don't matter. You showed me a better way of living my life. And I know it might be dangerous, and maybe a bit mad, but as long as you’re with me, it doesn’t matter where or when we are, I’m right where I want to be.

“I never thought I’d have a love like this. You know my past, and the stupid things I’ve done. But I think everything that I’ve been through made me who I am, and led me to here. And I’m so, so happy. I’ve got you, and our daughter, and our friends. I still sometimes can’t believe it. But then you take my hand, and tell me to run, and I know that everything is just as it should be. I love you Doctor; I love you so much.”

“Thank you for sharing your vows with us,” Sir Alistair said before turning to Tony and bending as much as he could. “Now, can I have the rings?”

Tony looked at Jenny for permission, and the whole audience laughed. “Yeah, Tony, you can give them to him,” Jenny whispered, and Tony thrust them towards Sir Alistair, who thanked him with a laugh.

Sir Alistair passed one ring to the Doctor, and said, “Doctor, do you take Rose Tyler to be your wife?”

“I do.”

“Then place this ring on her finger.”

“Rose Tyler, with this ring, I thee wed.”

“And Rose, do you take the Doctor to be your husband?”

“I do.”

“Then you can place the ring on his finger.”

“Doctor, with this ring, I thee wed.”

“Then, by the power vested in me by UNIT, I now pronounce you man and wife,” Sir Alistair said before stepping over to the side so the Doctor could finish the ceremony with the Gallifreyan tradition.

“Sorry everyone, but you all aren’t going to understand this next bit,” he shrugged. “It has to be done in Gallifreyan, and the TARDIS doesn’t translate that.”

Jenny stepped forward and pulled a small length of red fabric from her pocket. The Doctor took Rose’s hand and Jenny wrapped the fabric across their joined hands.

Both of you, repeat after me,” Jenny said before launching into the traditional Gallifreyan wedding ceremony.

Today, I, Rose Tyler, pledge myself to you. But I do not just pledge my today to you. I pledge you all the rest of my days, and I will stand by you for all of yours. Your past is my past and your future is my future. On this day and in all days, I am yours and you are mine. As we join our timelines into one, we join ourselves as one as well. I seal this pledge by giving you my name.

Today, I, the Doctor, pledge myself to you. But I do not just pledge my today to you. I pledge you all the rest of my days, and I will stand by you for all of yours. Your past is my past and your future is my future. On this day and in all days, I am yours and you are mine. As we join our timelines into one, we join ourselves as one as well. I seal this pledge by giving you my name.

Once they had finished, the Doctor leaned forward and whispered his name into her ear. Part of it she had heard, when they had made the temporary bond, but part of it was new. This was his full name. He had never told it to anyone else, and never would. The Doctor reached his free hand up to her temples and she mirrored him. Having done her research, she knew what she had to do. The two of them worked silently to weave their timelines together. It didn’t feel like it had when they had created the temporary bond because this time they were working with that existing structure, strengthening it into something that could never be broken.

Finally, as the last of the full bond settled into place, they dropped their hands and opened their eyes. Jenny unravelled the ribbon from their hands and gave both of them an end of it.

Switching back to English, she said, “Well, I guess since I finished the ceremony, it’s my job to say it, so, you may kiss the bride!”

The Doctor swept Rose into a deep kiss, but did try to keep it chaste, given that their daughter was standing there, as well as Rose’s little brother. All of their friends cheered as Jenny handed her mother back her bouquet and the Doctor and Rose ran back down the aisle and around the TARDIS to where the reception area was set up.