A Servant to Time and Consequence (rude_not_ginger) wrote,
A Servant to Time and Consequence
rude_not_ginger

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for tindogs_fic: Leave With Him

Assignment
Name: Rachel/rachelbeann
Request 1: Joan Redfern, post-John Smith. What was her life like, did she fall in love again, did she often think about the Doctor/John Smith?
Request 2: I would LOVE some good Milo/Cheen fic (Gridlock). Preferably post-ep.
Request 3: Quintus and/or Evelina after watching the destruction of Pompeii. How does it change them?
One thing you really don't want to receive: Uh...smut? :)


She will move on, of course.

A woman of her time, perhaps, but Joan is far from weak. Tears might run down her cheeks as she clutches to the words of a man that's now left her forever, but she's grieved before. She's felt the aching empty hollow feeling that settles to her chest like a cough that won't quit. She knows the way doing even the simplest things seem so hard because she's been exsanguinated of all of her blood, energy, and feeling. She knows how it eventually melts into a blanket of hurt that will always be there when she closes her eyes. She knows how one day she will forget what his hair felt like when she touched it. She will move on. She knows how it works now.

One might say she is an expert at grief.

There is scandal, of course. Rumors that he was the reason for the attacks and she won't deny them. If the Doctor is John Smith, then in a way they are. In a way, things would've been better if she'd never met John Smith. Sometimes she thinks that maybe she didn't. Maybe he never was (or maybe he still is and one of the Doctor's hearts still beats for her). Or maybe he was just an oasis in the desert of a country barely coping with its own hatred. Maybe she knew it wasn't water but she kept drinking anyway.

At night, she dreams that she sees them, all of them. The other women that have been left to grieve. When she learned of the Doctor, she knew she wasn't alone in her pain, but she never knew of the size of it all.

He was my protector and my Angel, the woman says, smoothing her skirts. She is regal and elegant and makes Joan feel impossibly plain.

I did not love
him, she replies. She thinks for a moment, then asks: Would you have gone with him?

I would not hesitate, the elegant woman replies. Though her eyes are dark, and Joan knows she must have.


It doesn't take long for her to move from denial and depression to anger. She hates the Doctor, she tells the cat that curls up on her lap. He mewls in a way that says 'Human, get me some cream,' but she always misinterprets his words as agreeing with hers. The cat doesn't care about her misplaced anger, he only knows that when she plays certain records at night she drips wet from her eyes onto his fur and the cream doesn't go into his dish, and instead it is mixed with brandy. Eventually it is dumped down the drain because she doesn't drink and by this point if she tried to numb away her feelings it would make her hollower than the grief itself. But she always considers and he loses the cream for it.

White mixes in with the blonde of her hair and she studies to become a doctor. It's a silly idea, the other nurses tell her, but she knows that one day even colored women will become doctors. She can't hate Martha Jones for convincing her love to kill himself in order to bring the Doctor back. If the positions were reversed, or if Joan could hold herself like the young servant could, then she would've left Martha to the hollow grief. She can't hate Martha, instead she understands her and she hopes that the Doctor is everything Martha dreamed of.

This night, the woman before her is lean and tanned with beads braided in her hair. She smiles in a calm, loving way, though her eyes sparkle with mischief.

We shared cocoa and mutual adoration, she says. He was daft and mad, but he was blessed with youth in his heart. You must have seen it.

I did not love
him, she replies. She thinks for a moment, then asks: Would you have gone with him?

To see the stars that were tattooed across his heart? I wish he had asked me. The woman longingly looks away, and Joan wonders if he is capable of as much longing.


She rides a boat with her sister's family and the cold English air bites at her face and she feels young. Her nephews dance around her and she thinks of the children she and John might have had. There is no anger, simply fondness. It is the first time she has thought of them like this, she thinks. Usually when she thinks of those children, of feeling a kick in her belly and holding a warm life that she's created with the man she loves, all she does is grieve. Her youngest nephew finds a dying bird on the deck and as it dies he says that he will imagine a friendship with the bird, that way it will live forever in his mind.

Ian is a fool sometimes, but she can't help but think it is something that John might have said. She is unsurprised to find that as he gets older he studies to become a teacher. She pours some cream in the cat's dish and tells him that if those watch-children had souls, one of them most certainly went into her nephew. The cat mewls in a way to say 'You're stroking my hair back the wrong way, stop it' but she misinterprets his words as agreeing with hers.

He has always been a fool, he's never seen what's before his eyes; that does not stop our affections. This woman is in a boating dress with a straw hat, but she sits with a presence of the like Joan has never experienced before

I did not love
him, she replies. She thinks for a moment, then asks: Would you have gone with him?

I did, once, she says with no small hint of nostalgia. But what woman could compare to the stars? Certainly not I.


By the time that her cancer metasocizes, she is capable enough to diagnose herself. Her sister sits by her bed and feeds the cat and fetches her tea and plays her old records for her. The dance she danced with her husband at their wedding plays first and she feels his big hands on her arms. Then the waltz from the dance with John.

It is so foolish, to still grieve for a man whom she only spent weeks of her long life with. She has always been a simple woman, but he made her life seem like so much more. It is so difficult to explain.

You loved the man he could never be. It's a terrible way to live. Me? I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

She wonders if she is the only one who never considered 'yes' as an option. She unrepentantly hesitated, wished he'd never asked her, longed for the man who saw her as more than the stars, and missed it all for the simple life.

She wraps herself in a robe and it is soft and comfortable, with the little fuzzballs tied together with the foil-plastic wrap from her sister's cigarettes.

He loved you, he loved you so much that he was willing to become me again to save you. Feel.

Two hearts.

And is one of them his?

I think that both my hearts are mine.


He's wrong. One of them is hers. She gave it willingly to John Smith and she would never want it back.

The stars seem a long way away.

She steps to a window and stares outward to the horizon, where the Doctor's stars meet John's winter countryside. That's the world she straddles now, the dark horizon in the middle.

It is not a place for moving on, but it is what she has.

Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,279
Tags: community: tindogs fic, featuring: cameca, featuring: joan redfern, featuring: madame de pompadour, featuring: romanadvoratrelundar, featuring: sarah jane smith
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