One woman to save.
He has five seconds to chose.
Save her, lose his freedom.
Keep his freedom, watch her die.
It is Friday. Yesterday was Thursday. He changes the books in her library. He scribbles new words to fit in where the old ones aren't quite right. He changes facts, he changes tone. And occasionally, in a fit of irritation, he changes grammar. After all, the French don't really care about where the words go in a sentence, as long as you pronounce them properly.
They translate in his mind. He works the words in Gallifreyan, it's easier that way, only remembering that he needs to write in French. Eventually, as he works the words long enough, he begins to forget their meanings in English.
Such is the way with time.
Le fait d'admettre
admittance n (ad-MIT-ns)- to allow or concede an issue or situation as valid
It is Tuesday. Yesterday was Monday. "What is it," she asks. "What is it that you miss the most?"
He could tell her, he supposes. It's not so difficult a question that he can't. He thinks about all of the many questions that have been so easy to answer in the past. So many riddles and puzzles and confusing twists and turns that seemed like nothing at the time. A question like this--
Riddles are easy. A question like this is impossible. There is no easy way to say "everything".
She is trying to comfort him, by having him talk about his problems. They have been companions here long enough for her to realize he is unhappy. They have not been companions long enough for her to realize that he does best in times of trouble by pushing everything away, not bringing it out.
He takes a sip of the strong coffee and stares out over the courtyard. He grimaces at the bitter flavor. Coffee is foul enough on its own, but it's positively horrid the way the French prefer it. He glances back at her. She continues to sit across from him, pristine and perfect and completely alien to him in her own way.
Madame du Pompadour.
blame n (bleym)- to hold responsible; find fault with. Censure. Faute.
It is Saturday. Yesterday was Friday. He supposes that Rose must blame Reinette for his entrapment here. Rose must look at the wall, if indeed he can never leave and she therefore has time to look at the wall, and she must loathe Reinette. Loathe the entire situation.
Or perhaps it's him, actualizing onto Rose. Often, he finds he wants to hate Reinette. He wants to hate everything about this place. He wants to hate the mornings and the evenings and the hot of the summer and the boring of Sundays and the trappings of a courtly life. He wants to hate it and her. But Reinette, by being herself, has made that completely impossible.
Her fingers curl around the pages of the book he has most recently marked up. She smiles at the notations. A mind like his in so foreign a world.
understanding - Capacité de comprendre (ou d'être compris); action de comprendre, résultat de cette action.
It is Thursday. Yesterday was Wednesday. "You do not have to scowl so much on my morning drink. I'm having some tea shipped in from London," she says, standing and smoothing her gown. There is no doubt he will be there when the tea arrives, and possibly for long afterwards.
"Until later, Angel. I shall leave you to your thoughts." She's so patient. She waited years for him to come back. And when he came back, it was as though it was moments ago.
"I don't blame you," he says, suddenly. To another, it would seem like a non-sequitur, something without place in a conversation about coffee.
Somehow, she understands.
"I never believed you did." Her words are soft and there is hidden meaning behind her French vowels. He has been a companion to her long enough to know there is a difference, but not long enough to know what that difference is.
It verges on cruel. Doesn't she see how much he wants to hate her? Doesn't she get it?
She knows how to read subtle body language too well. She can tell he wants time alone and gives it. She sees he wants space and grants it. She sees he wants to be challenged and challenges him.
Can't she see he wants to hate her?
She stops at the door and looks back at him. The look in her eyes is one he recognizes. Of course she can see it. It's just something she's not willing to give.
The English word feels foreign.
He stares at the definition on the page.
amour - subst. masc. (except. fém.) -Attirance, affective ou physique, qu'en raison d'une certaine affinité---
He puts his quill tip to the page. The words don't make sense together like that.
He looks up, satisfied with this new name she has given him to replace his old one. She steps into the library and smiles at the book in his hands.
"Changing the dictionary?" There is more amusement in her voice than irritation.
"Until your new shipment arrives."
"It is something to pass the time." She steps towards him, then reaches out to take his hand. Her perfectly manicured nail scrapes a little of the dried ink from his thumb.
He wants to hate her.
She refuses to do anything but adore him.
It is, perhaps, unfair. If they had similar goals, he wouldn't be staring at this word on a page and thinking about her.
"What day is it?" he asks.
"Saturday," she replies without hesitation or question.
He likes Saturdays. The leaves on the trees are nearly all gone. He's never watched an autumn all the way through. It is an experience he wants to hate but can't.
He chuckles to himself. She raises an eyebrow.
"I just mentally compared you to a season and it worked."
"A season." The translation isn't quite there. It doesn't fit perfectly from Gallifreyan to French.
"Ah." She smiles.
"Not unusual? Blokes comparing you to weather changes?"
"Not at all. If I were to compare you to a body of weather, would you be entirely surprised?"
"Only if it wasn't a storm."
He looks outside. It's Saturday. Yesterday was Friday and tomorrow will be Sunday and he will still be here.
Her hand is warm in his. At least he won't be alone.
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Partner: Madame du Pompadour (AU)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,100