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

for albumconcepts: K's Choice "Almost Happy": Live For Real

I can't remember which song played.

Jack, the Doctor and Rose have finished saving the Earth from another attack of the Zygons, somewhere south of Surrey. Jack claims he knows of a great place to party and Rose says that they need a holiday, so she pushes the Doctor to accept. He sighs, and crosses his arms. He says no, but they continue to push and it's not long until he's crossing his arms again, this time in a warehouse full of sweaty dancing teenagers, smoke, and loud music.

His leather jacket is tight and uncomfortable in all of the heat of the warehouse, but his companions are happy. Jack is surrounded by a rather sizeable crowd of women and attractive androgynous men, and Rose is gyrating along with the beat of the music. He is reminded again of how ridiculously young the two of them are. It's why he keeps them with him, they bleed onto him and give him some of their energy. They make him feel young.

That doesn't mean he's going to gyrate on the dance floor along with them.

He figures that after this long of a life, it's about time he started acting as observer anyway. Rose, however, gets it in her head that he should show off those moves she's now learned he has. She manages to pry a hand from where it's lodged between his right elbow and she tugs with all of her might. He grumbles and groans and insists he's not going to dance. She's unrelenting and that pout of hers eventually wins him over.

"Fine. One song."

The moment his feet hit the dance floor, the music changes. It's as if the DJ has it out for him. Slow dance. Some of the dancers grumble, some grab their dates and drag them to the floor. Jack and his harem move off to get drinks. Rose looks at the Doctor. He takes a breath.

Life has always been a pretty song
And pretty loud
You're so beautiful
Why is it fading out
I don't want to live forever
But as long as I do
I'd love to live for real

His hand reaches for hers and she takes it as if it's the most instinctual of motions. One of her hands moves to his shoulder and his hand moves to her waist. The dance is too formal for the music, so she releases his hand and slips both hands around his neck. He freezes, uncertain, then puts his hands on her hips.

They've danced before, in the TARDIS. He was all confidence, showing off in front of Jack. It was an upbeat dance then, and there was plenty of space between them. This is a close dance. This is her pressing herself through his walls and permeating his core; the safe areas he's kept from so many.

Her head rests on his shoulder. He tries to imagine it being in a better place, but he can't. It feels right there.

She is warm and soft against him. He can smell the smoke of the room mixed in her hair with the strawberries of her shampoo. He feels her lips curl into a smile against his shoulder.

With you I might get there
With you I might start to feel
With you I will get there
With you I will live for real

The warehouse has a series of colored lights, and they change. Everything is tinged in blue, but Rose still sparkles. She pulls her head off his shoulder and smiles up at him. He can't help it; a smile tugs at his lips in return.

He has the strangest sensation that he should tell her he cares for her. He can't imagine why. He can't even tell himself that. Not yet.

I will breathe the air, I'll dance
And you will wonder why
It's because you made me see
This chance was moving by
Because I'm not going to live forever
But as long as I do
I'd love to live for real

She's bolder than he in this moment. Her hand cups the side of his face and he becomes aware of how very close they are. Her lips are parted and he only knows this because he's staring at them. She moves forward, but he turns his head, pressing his cheek to her forehead. She's probably disappointed, but it's better this way. It is.

She whispers something about being glad she met him. He returns the sentiment.

"You know, if you take a picture, it will last longer."

I turn my head. Jack's there, his arms crossed over his chest. He looks less like the man I knew and more like a overprotective bodyguard. I offer him a banana chip. He glares.

"You know them?" he demands.

"Ooooh, not for a while yet," I reply, turning my attention back to the dance. "Bit of the timey-wimey…no, no, that's overused. Timeish blimeyish... You know time travel. Big bad time agent and all that. But I will." I pop a chip in my mouth. It tastes a bit like cardboard. Even the enthusiasm I try to put in my voice sounds fake.

He tries to spin her outward, but when she comes back it's a bit off, and he catches her from falling. The dance they're sharing is awkward, but it's the sort of experience that will change how he sees Rose. I know this because it's already changed me.

With you I might get there
With you I might start to feel
With you I will get there
With you I will live for real

"So, what? You're a time agent, too?" Jack clears his throat because he doesn't think I'm paying attention anymore. I'm not, really, but that's far from the point. "What're you doing here?"

I sigh. It sounds pathetic to my ears, and I hope my old companion can't hear it. "I couldn't remember which song played."

It's really enough. It's enough. I've already gone too far into the realms of possible paradoxes and who knows what else just for the sake of a little nostalgia. It's so lonely. It gets so lonely, after a while. Now that Jack and Martha are gone I just wanted to see…what it was like when things were happy.

"Regeneration?" I can hear Jack's voice behind me again. "You…mentioned it, once."

"You know, I always wondered how you recognized me," I say with a short laugh. I keep my eyes on the dance. It's almost over. "This here's the best bit."

The song slows as it nears its end, and the Doctor presses a kiss to Rose's forehead. She smiles widely and he smiles back and there they are. Two living beings, holding each other and smiling.

If I try, I can almost recollect the feeling.

When a cloud becomes my head
Play your music loud instead
And we'll dance until
The both of us are dead

"What happened to you?" It's Jack's voice again. I can't look at him right now. I know him, he's like Rose. He'll see too much.

"Take care of them, Jack," I say as I turn to leave. "They're going to need you."


He's not going to follow me, because that would mean leaving the Doctor and Rose. I know he doesn't leave because I know where he goes with the Doctor and Rose next.

"Doctor, wait."

He says my name and I turn. I can't help it. He looks so different, now that I'm focusing on him and not myself and Rose. So young. He has a hundred years before he sees me again, I suppose I shouldn't be so surprised. I wonder if I should warn him that he only gets one more adventure before he never sees Rose again. I know I can't.

He doesn't have a question, he just needed to know if it really is me. Him. The Doctor. He stands there, a little stunned, and I turn back. I miss him. I miss her. I miss being with them, like this. There aren't many moments in my life that are so completely simple and wonderful.

I need to promise myself that I'll never come back here again. I need to promise myself that I'll never think about them again.

I go back to the TARDIS and put on the song.

It's notes fill the empty room, and with my memory it's almost like I've cheated the time laws again.


Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,254, not including lyrics from K's Choice's "Live For Real"
Tags: awards: nominated fiction, community: album concepts, featuring: captain jack harkness, featuring: rose tyler, featuring: the ninth doctor
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