The morning after the Yew Ball was quiet.
Deadly silent. The silence of spaces and quiet and walls.
He looked over to her, lying in the bed next to him. She was pretending to be sleeping. He wondered if she knew he knew she wasn't. Perhaps she was simply hoping.
She was building a wall.
He could feel it, pressing against her mind. She was building it around something very specific, very solid. He couldn't help but wonder what it was she was hiding---she had never hidden anything from him, before.
He had to trust her. It was all they had left.
But why build a wall? It was solid, with mortar and delicately placed tiles. Perfectly created that she could build it and set it aside with grace. Ease. She had to know that he knew it was there.
He had to focus on other things. On the night, on the party, on remembering the names of the people he'd met in case he met them later. It felt so long ago...perhaps the night was simply that long.
Why had he felt as though he'd forgotten something terribly important?
The morning after they fought, he was cold.
He had never slept in the guest room alone before, and despite the July heat, he found himself shivering without her. He was banished and told to stay away from her. Made sense of course, he had shown he had a terrible temper.
She was blocking something. Something in her mind that he could tell was important, but she wouldn't tell him. The way her eyes got a far-off look, or her fingers slipped to her throat where a necklace might be. Months and months and nearing a year had passed, and the questions he made, the gentle observations she brushed off became accusations. An affair? Planning to turn him in? Back again with Louis? Why wouldn't she trust him?
"It is something you chose to forget!" she snapped, finally, her eyes bright with tears she would most certainly not shed in front of him, "You made this decision, my Angel, not me! While I would respect your decision, you injure me for it!"
"Why would I forget?" he demanded, "I would never forget anything! You wouldn't----"
"Do not dare to tell me that I would not understand," her voice was ice, "You chose to forget and I did not, and I will not disrespect you by telling you, even as you have disrespected me tonight with your words. Leave!"
He did, of course. Turned on his heel and stormed out. He was racked with anger and frustration and general annoyance. Forget. He would forget a lot of things if he could've, but he couldn't. That was impossible.
The morning after he apologized, she was ill.
Easily determined as morning sickness by her maid, and later confirmed with some examinations. He bit the question on his tongue---Is it mine?---when the answer would not be necessary if he trusted her as he said he had.
"I won't survive another miscarriage," she said, simply, lying with him later, "I have had too many, my body can not take it."
"Then we'll make sure you won't miscarry."
"I will die during childbirth."
"You're very pessimistic today, aren't you?"
"Realistic." She sighed, more content than anything in the way she lay with him. "You told me that your kind did not have children," she said, "How is it I am pregnant, then?"
"I don't know."
"You still fear that I am lying to you, that the place in my mind I hide is a love affair with another, that the child is not yours," she said, moving to her elbows to look down at him, "You should have no fear, my Angel. There is no one in this world I love more than you." A pause, gauging his expression, "Or any other world."
He nodded, "I wish I could've taken you to see them. The other worlds. Would've been brilliant."
She went silent at that, and laid back on his chest.
The feeling of having forgotten something important again was stronger.
The morning after their child was born, he was burning.
A scorching ball of pain and hurt hiding in one of their closets, scalding tears boiling beneath his skin but not breaking through, just boiling there, burning him from the inside out.
This must've been what it was like to die in space. A vaccum. The blood boils at the lack of pressure, the capillaries burst beneath the skin and the water evaporates. At least, however, with depressurization, he would be unconscious in two minutes or so.
Footsteps down the hall, heading towards the door. It was easy to imagine her finding him there, a scolding look on her face.
Stop being foolish, Doctor. The Duchess is not nearly so bad.
"You say that," he whispered, his voice hoarse and his lips cracked, "But you aren't the subject of her affections."
Oh, my Angel. You must realize that she will not move closer to you than I allow her to. I like her to see what it is she cannot have.
"I'm—I'm glad you find my suffering...so amusing."
It is not your suffering I enjoy, it is hers. It is the way we live, my Angel. Come and learn it with me.
"Doctor!" The closet door swung open and the nursemaid stood there, glancing down at him in shock and horror. "Doctor, the King is here!"
"Tell him he has to go," the Doctor replied, pushing himself further into the closet clothes, "She's not there anymore, she's gone. They're always gone."
"My Master," the maid straightened, "As per my Mistress, you are my Master, now. While the Mistress's remains would be best attended with the King, I fear the King will press for the child. He would seek him for another Lord or stop the possibility of an heir."
"She's a girl."
The Doctor glanced down in his arms at the small child in his arms, crying loudly but sounding so beautiful and alive as he held her. He could feel her tiny heartbeats beneath his hands, and see the blonde of her hair to know that she could only have been theirs.
"She's a girl, and she's ours," he said, with a tone of finality, "He's not taking her away."
He brushed a thumb across the infant's nose, "Reinette. Strong and stubborn like your mother. At least you learned how to cry."
Muse: Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,088
Based on RP in relativespace and prompts in relativeprompts. Not fanon for this character, just a one-off ficlet.