Disclaimer: Doctor Who isn't mine. If it was things would be quite different. The BBC owns all and I bow before them.

Day 31 prompt: new beginnings. Twelve, Thirteen x Rose

A/N: Please note that the majority of this was written BEFORE the 2017 Christmas special aired. There is purposely no reference to the place or circumstances of the Doctor's regeneration. It's AU to begin with, Rose being there and all, so I was not worried with those details - and they aren't really important to this ficlet anyway. I did add one small detail though after seeing TUAT, because I liked the imagery, but I don't think this is really spoilerish. Make your own decision though. :)

Rose Tyler stumbles back, knowing she must keep her distance now. The Doctor has avoided it as long as possible but he can't any longer. Even as his fourth regeneration with her is only moments away, it hasn't gotten any easier. Three times before she's watched her Doctor as he's engulfed in flames, his body recreated cell by cell. She can feel his agony over their bond and she sends as much love and support to him as she can.

She's known this gray haired Doctor for centuries, fell in love all over again with this brusque version of her spouse. 'Scottish,' a diamond in the rough, and with hearts of gold. She mourns that she's about to lose that, this dear incarnation of him, but she knows she'll also get to experience a new facet of her beloved when it's over.

As the flames withdraw, and the new Doctor steps forward, Rose can't help but gasp. This is certainly something new! The Doctor takes a cursory glance down and then looks at her with concerned eyes.

Rose picks up the wedding ring that has fallen off the slenderer fingers and meets her Doctor's eyes (regardless the color or shape, they always look at her with the same warmth). She smiles as she slips the ring back into place. Same software, different case, as he said many times. They are still the Doctor and Rose, and she looks forward to getting to know this version.

"I love you," Rose whispers, squeezing her hand gently.

The Doctor smiles gratefully, clasping back.