Title: Bearing Nameless Things
Length: 500 words
Summary: “One day none of this will have happened,” he whispers.
(“One day none of this will have happened,” he whispers, and she presses her mouth over his to shut him up.)
The touch on her shoulder is light, but she doesn’t sleep easily these days. “He’s back,” Jack says, kissing her bare shoulder before he leaves her alone.
Time was they would’ve stayed up all night, waited in the TARDIS bay for hours for the Doctor’s regiment to get back, but they’ve been too long at war and now she doesn’t even go to him straight away. She turns over in bed and listens to the voices in the next room: Jack’s accent, comforting and a bit strange after years on a world where everything else gets translated as old BBC-presenter; the Doctor, quieter, tired. He’s in uniform, of course, when she pulls on her robe and goes to watch them through the door. Sometimes she misses the velvet, the long hair. Call it practice for the day when their side doesn’t win, when he comes back with a different face. Better than not coming back at all.
(“Time is…” He uses words like flux, talks about tapestries and stones dropped in ponds, but he’s a Time Lord and they’re human and whatever it is he’s trying to say isn’t coming out right. “Everything ends,” he says and Rose smiles up at him, beautiful and only half-listening.)
Jack is telling him the story - their story, the one they’ve told between the two of them so many times she knows all his parts of it by heart, and he’s the same with her – and that’s how she knows it’s bad. The Doctor’s hanging on to Jack’s hand as if he doesn’t know where he is and when he finally looks up at her she smiles. She’s got so good at that smile. “I’m Rose.”
“Yes. I remember,” he murmurs, such a terrible liar. He always remembers them in the end, but it gets muddled for a bit, every time he goes away. In the in-between times, when Romana’s not dragging him off to the Council and they’ve got the silence and the big bed to themselves, the three of them remember together, hard as they can.
(She hates the way he looks at her while he tells them they can’t ever leave Gallifrey; the War, he says, all those timelines rubbed out and rewritten, like they’re standing on a house of cards that’s been knocked from beneath them.)
For now she sits on his other side, curling herself around so she can touch Jack at the same time. The story’s only started; she’s sixteen, wandering the Amsterdam streets, crying her eyes out because Jimmy’s dumped her and she’s got no way home. No money on her phone but there’s that blue phone box on the corner and something drawing her in.
(And she almost doesn’t go with him. But: “Did I mention? It also travels in time,” he says.
And just for a second as she’s running to the box she wonders how she knew that already.)