Doctor Who | Rose/11, Amy | 1870 words | PG13
Every story has a beginning. This one has two. One beginning has evil plastic, there's running, hand-holding and promises of time and space. This is the story of the other one.
Takes place during S5/6 and pre-S1/S1. Title from the song "In My Veins" by Andrew Belle. Written for hhooppyy in the castleland 2012 gift-giving.
Every story has a beginning. This one has two. One beginning has evil plastic, running, hand-holding and promises of time and space. This is the story of the other one.
It had been a normal day. He'd been running through the streets of London trying to get to Amy, who had been captured by Caxtarids. He had been so intent on his task, gone full speed around a corner and suddenly he wasn't going forward; he was lying on the ground in a tangle of arms and legs, and wonderful, beautiful blond hair. All the air was knocked out of him, and when she untangled herself, sat up and smiled down at him, it all came rushing back in one go.
"Hi, mate," she laughed. "Try looking before running next time, 'right?"
He still couldn't say anything and an absurd thought went through him: how her future self would have delighted in rendering him speechless. He shook his head. She was already on her feet and he scrambled to his feet; he couldn't let her go, not now. He wouldn't lose her again. When that thought hit him, he knew he was lost, because he shouldn't do this. It didn't happen this way.
She held out her hand to him "I'm Rose."
"My name is Jim. Jimmy if you like. No, don't call me Jimmy. Never, ever. I don't like that."
He takes her hand in his, smiles and doesn't look back.
He begins to go back and meet her regularly. Sometimes just to look at her from afar. Sometimes she spots him and they talk, and somehow they become friends again. It's so easy for them, and he falls into old patterns, as she finds new ones.
Sometimes he asks Amy to stay in the Tardis while he goes looking for her. The first time he'd asked her she laughed.
"What, do you have a date or something?"
"No! What? I don't, no." But he was unsure and Amy picked up on it like she always did.
"You do, don't you? What's her name?" He didn't answer and she threw her hands up into the air "Fine! You can park me here and go out." He is smiling at her then and Amy holds up a finger. "But! You have to promise to tell me about her later."
He's really smiling then and dancing around the Tardis consoles getting the time just right. "I will tell you all about her one day. I promise. It's quite a story, actually! About the adventures we had, the people we met and the wonderfulness that was Rose Tyler."
Amy's quiet voice stops him in his tracks and he looks down at the controls and fiddles. "This story doesn't have a happy ending, Amy."
Rose sits down on the bench beside him and stares out into the park.
"You know, sometimes I don't understand you guys."
"What? I protest being lumped together with all guys."
She smiles a little then, but she's still not looking at him. The silence is comfortable and he thinks about how much he loves that it's never awkward between them. Not in his past or her present. She lets out a long sigh.
"It's this friend of mine. Mickey."
"Mickey is a stupid name."
She laughed at that and finally, finally she looks at him and he feels his hearts lift. "Don't be mean."
"Fine, I wont. I'll be on my very best behavior. What about this Rickey?" he asks, falling into the patterns of a man he once was.
"Mickey. And he... he asked me out on a date. And I don't know how I feel about it." She took a deep breath. "I mean we've been mates for ages, you know?"
"Yes. I know." The Doctor smiled at her. "But sometimes that's not a bad thing. Actually, it's not a bad thing at all. You can be friends and then that friendship might turn into so much, much more. Maybe even without either of you noticing it. And if you don't take that opportunity and do something about it, it might be lost forever, before you even realize that it's gone. And I never told..." He stops suddenly, knowing he's not talking about Mickey anymore and Rose is staring at him, and he can't look away.
In the end she looks away first, gives him the privacy to put himself together and then she takes the hand that's lying between them in hers. He looks down on it and tries to pull himself together. He can't talk about this with her, not at this time. But it's hard when he's feeling her hand in his (they still fit together perfectly).
"Anyway! What I'm saying is that friendship first is not such a bad thing."
"Maybe you're right."
She squeezes his hand and they sit there together; the 907-year-old Time Lord, and the girl who will become the woman he loves.
"Who are you?"
She doesn't wait for an answer, and he doesn't have one to give her.
"Because you always turn up when I need you, and yet I know nothing about you. Nothing about your past."
"You don't need to know the past." He smiles, a fake smile. "Besides, I live in the moment; it's my thing. It's what I do, Rose Tyler and I can't look back." She smiles and he gives her a real smile back, shutting down the voice in his mind that says that this whole thing is living in the past, and always looking back.
(Because it isn't like that. Promise.)
He knows he's gotten the time wrong when he sees her. Because he recognizes that outfit. He knows the light dancing in her eyes is now reflecting a universe larger than she ever imagined. He knows this day. And he shouldn't be here. But at this time, in this place, he is far beyond caring.
He smiles at her, and she smiles back at him, just a little tug in the corner of her mouth.
"Hi, you. It's been a while."
"It has. Anything new in your life?" he asks, like he doesn't know. Knows from that pink shirt, with that ridiculous print he had loathed back in the day.
"Well, yes. I've met someone. A new... friend." He can't help but feeling pleased about the little pause. Like she already knew there were something more.
"And he's wonderful, and he takes me to these fantastic places, but he's just so, so stupid and sometimes he can be a fucking idiot."
The Doctor is a little taken aback, until he remembers how broken he was after the war, and that Rose had just been sitting through one of Jackie's lectures.
They talk a bit more, but she won't say much about him (which he appreciates) and he leaves soon after; tired of trying to ignore his uneasiness.
(He stops going back for a bit after that, but it's not long before he finds himself with her again)
"Doctor!" He can hear Amy yelling over the Tardis's hum. He'd just been contemplating taking a trip to see Rose. (One last time he tells himself, but knows it's a promise he wont keep.)
"In here!" he yells absentmindedly, already marking the settings for Earth, London and a small flat in the Powell Estate.
Amy comes in and leans on the control table next to him. "So I was exploring the corridors while Rory slept and I found this taped to a locked door." She waves an envelope in front of him, but he has his attention elsewhere. "It's not addressed to anyone I know. And it's strange. Do you know someone called Jim, but never, ever Jimmy?"
His head shoots up then, and Amy has all his attention. "Oh, so you do know," she laughs. "Who is he?"
"Me." The Doctor takes the letter from her and holds it in his hands, staring at the writing. Rose's writing. His hands are shaking, but he gets the letter opened.
History can be rewritten, right? That's what you told me, and your past has to change because I'm never leaving you. I'm going to leave this letter with the Tardis; she knows us best. She'll give this to you when it's time. When it's time for you to stop this. You said once that you lived in the moment, but you should try living in your future. If I'm truly gone, then it's only going to hurt you if you keep seeing me. You have to try to move on.
You told me once that having a solid friendship before a romance is not such a bad thing. And I know now that you are right and that what we have is the best kind of love. You are wrong on another point, when you said you never told me. Oh Doctor! My Jim, I know. You didn't have to tell me, because I know you.
And I haven't told the present you this, but I know it now: I love you, too.
Forever yours, Rose."
He's surprised to find himself sitting on the floor, back leaning against the railing and tears in his eyes. He knew it would have to end, but he hadn't ever thought it actually would. That's human life for you, one day it's slow-going, it's all linear and straight, and then life gives you a curveball, and suddenly you're sitting on the floor of your Tardis, holding a letter that ended a dream.
He can feel a hand on his shoulder, and for a moment, for one glorious moment he believes it's Rose's hand, that she's somehow found a way back to him and that this time, this time he'll get it all right. But then he opens his eyes and Amy is in front of him looking worried.
He smiles sadly at her. "Remember the time I promised you I'd tell you about Rose Tyler?"
Amy only nods and his voice breaks slightly as he continues, "I think it's time for that story, now that it's coming to it's end."
He pats the space next to him and Amy slides down close to him, shoulder touching shoulder, and he's glad she's not saying anything and that she will only listen. He doesn't know where to start, which beginning is the best, his or hers, but he knows that he have to tell it all, not only because he promised Amy, but because not even a Time Lord can't keep lifting it alone.
"Rose Tyler was fantastic. I loved her, and I lost her. When I first met her, I had just been through the time war, and survived. I didn't wear a cool bowtie back then, but a black leather jacket, and I was mean and wounded. But she loved me anyway. When she first met me, I did wear a bowtie; I called myself Jim and it was my second chance."
He thinks that maybe this is what he's been wanting to do all along. Talk about her, and by talking about her, he might bring some of her into the Tardis again.
"Every story has a beginning. This one has two."