The summer air was heavy and sweet
You and I on a crowded street
There was music everywhere, I can see us there
In a happy little foreign town
Where the stars hung upside down
A half a world away, far far away
I remember you were laughing
We were so in love, we were so in love

And the band played song's that we'd never heard
But we danced anyway

"Oh, come on, Doctor, you have to admit this is great," Rose says. She tucks herself next to him, pressing her hand against the tight leather coat covering his crossed arms.

"I didn't say it wasn't good, I just think that parties celebrating the death of another species aren't ones I want to go to."

They'd landed on Yettico Prime earlier that day. The air was thick with perfumed flowers and a heavy atmosphere. It might've even been too heavy to stay, but Jack, being himself, managed to find a brilliant party on the other end of the mountain (right after Rose, being herself, managed to stumble into a number of dangerous men that they had to run from). And now, standing on this illuminated rock face as the twin suns set, it really was lovely.

Not that the Doctor would admit it. It was something one of the men had said, about how the party tonight was a celebration of the destruction of Gallifrey and the end of the Tyrrany. The Tyrrany of the Time Lords, not that Jack and Rose realized that.

"You could at least try to have fun," Rose pleaded.

"Nah, forget about him, Rose, let's dance." Jack reaches out a hand for her, giving her one of his widest grins. He shot a quick look to the Doctor, and then pointedly nodded before taking Rose out onto the part of the dance floor that had been cleared away.

Jack is cleverer than he lets on, it's one of the reasons the Doctor likes him so much, despite everything. Maybe he saw how that man's words affected the Doctor. Jack nods again, looking to the Doctor, and then to something behind him. Or, maybe he just noticed something the Doctor needs to take care of.

Following where Jack had nodded, the Doctor turns around. Standing off in the corner is a woman he hadn't noticed before. Petite, with long, blonde hair. She has her eyes fixed to him, though she stays just on the edge of the party. It's impossible. She can't be standing there, looking at him the way she is.

Before he realizes it, his feet have taken him towards her, until he's only a few feet away.

"Romana," he breathes. "That's impossible, you can't---"

"There isn't any time," she says. "Just listen to me, please."

"You can't be alive," he insists. He's grieved for so long over this, it's impossible, she can't---

"I'm not," she agrees. "This is all just a folded moment of time. Because I have to warn you, Doctor."

"Warn me?" he asks, shaking his head. "Warn me about what? Romana, you're alive!"

She sighs in a way that is utterly familiar to him. So put upon, so frustrated by his inability to listen. He thinks he might remain stubborn, just to watch her make that face again. Just to revel in the familiarity of it.

"You don't believe in prophecies," she says. "But someone will make a prophecy about knocking. Not now, not in this life, but soon. You have to listen to that. The fate of everyone depends on that."

"No one believes in prophecies except the High Council," he says, remaining stubborn for as long as he can.

She doesn't grant him with another one of those irritated expressions, she just looks sad. "Live," she says. "For me, would you?"

He drops the stubborn act and moves right into desperate. She's here, now, she can't go. Not yet.

"Romana, don't---"

"And stop feeling sorry for yourself." She snorts in irritation, and then, like a crease shaken out of a shirt, she vanishes.

He's not sure how long he stands there, staring at the place in front of him where Romana stood. Long enough, because before he's entirely sure what happened, Jack's hand is on his shoulder. He's shooed a curious Rose off to find them something to drink.

"Who was she?" he asks.

No answer is really sufficient. The Doctor takes in a breath and does as Romana asked; he pushes away his self-pity. He doesn't understand what she meant, and he doesn't know what prophecy she's talking about, but one day he will. And today, he'll live. Like she asked.

"A friend," he says. "Just a friend."

Muse: The Doctor (Nine)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 719

You sure know what you're doin'
Holdin' me this way
And I'll go where you lead me
Anywhere you say
You've got me where you want me
So Darlin' please be kind
Before you take it all
And I make that final fall
You've got to keep in mind

(That) I'm a new fool at an old game
A kid out of school tryin' to find my way
But I don't know the rules, (so) teach me how to play
I'm just a new fool at an old game....

She reminds you, in many ways, of yourself.

It's in the way she dances, in the way she holds herself. She's older in her heart than she is on the outside, just like you do. She tosses her long, ginger hair back and laughs at something one of her girlfriends says, but it's all show.

She reminds you of someone you used to know. Someone who left you. Maybe that's why you tilt your wide-brimmed hat back and head over to the table. Sure, she's tall and curvy and ginger, not short, petite, and blonde, but she's got the same grin. The same fire in her eyes.

"I beg your pardon, ladies," you say, and they all look a little surprised at your appearance and grin. You turn to the ginger woman. "Would you dance with me?"

She looks to the girls like this is some big joke, but takes your hand without a question to you. You take her to the dance floor.

The song is slow and unfamiliar, but you dance to it anyway. She gives you an odd look.

She smiles at you as she puts a hand to your shoulder, but her expression, while flattered, is unimpressed. You're not her type, you figure. Too eccentric, maybe a bit too old. "No offense, mate, but I don’t think I'd be dancing with you right now if I didn't have two pints in me already." The honesty is refreshing, you think. You know (if you do say so yourself) that you're charming, but having someone tell you that you're only charming when they're a little drunk feels more genuine than all the fake laughs in the world.

She'd do that, you think. Even before she was blonde, even back when she was regal and brunette, she'd always tell you how things were.

"Well, that's all right," you say. "I'm not entirely sure I'd be dancing with you if I wasn't in the same predicament." And if you weren't missing the one that only too recently had gotten away.

You smile widely, though, and it's mostly fake, and her expression changes. It isn't the same smile from before, it's almost awed, like she can't figure you out.

"You've got such an interesting smile, though," she says. "It's like I---Like I know your smile, like I've seen it before."

"Oh, I used to have a friend who told me I was many men, and that was why my ego was so inflated."

"Sounds like a brilliant girl, that one." Her smile changes again, and you're surprised by how much one woman can say with that simple turn of the lips. Now, she's empathic. She understands. "Let her get away, did you?"

"Quite presumptuous of you," you say.

"Yeah, well, I know that smile of yours when you talk about her. You all right?"

"I'm always all right." It's something you've only just decided has to be true about yourself. You have to always be all right. Even when your companion is unemotionally standing by the food table and you're grieving for a love you've lost. You have to.

"Is that the kind of all right that's really, really not all right?" she asks.

You smile again, and this time it is almost entirely genuine. It's strange, to dance with someone who truly understands. And, even though you have never met her before, you feel like you have always known this woman.

Time is like that.

She picks a piece of lint off of your long scarf, and even though the song changes to something more upbeat, she doesn't pull away from your arms.

"Come on, Smiler," she says. "Let's have one more dance to make it really all right, eh?"

Muse: The Doctor (Four)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 622



Christmas Eve. 2009.

The Doctor loved Christmas! Back when he was a wee Time Lord, the first place he ever landed was London on Christmas Eve. He promised himself he'd never miss another Christmas ever, but that promise went into the same pile as "Lose weight" and "Regenerate a better hairline" and "Stop leaving companions in other universes". But the Doctor had never quite gotten the hang of New Years'. (He once spent several hours commiserating on the similarity between the confusing nature of New Years and Thursdays with one Arthur Dent, who will sadly not be appearing in this piece of narrative. -editor)

But! Through all his travels in space and time, he still hadn't quite figured out what Christmas was for exactly. Except as a yearly excuse for turkey, too much wine, and plum pudding (all of which the Doctor approved of). This year, though, as he strode the streets on this wonderful Christmas Eve, the Doctor decided he would figure out exactly what Christmas was all about.

This may or may not have included use of a intergalactic manipulative detector and a full pack of radio stellar isotopian crystals. Oh, and a cup of hot chocolate. In a festively-coloured cup.

There was a lovely light snow, and the Doctor grinned madly at the stars. Christmas. This year, he was going to figure out what it was all about.


OOC: Open thread, feel free to tag in as if your character is a passerby or as if your character is a long-standing companion! I'll be working on this thread up until the New Year, most likely! Everyone from any verse (or no verse!) is welcome, just let me know if you'd prefer it from a community or specific universe! And, for this thread, threadhopping is totally welcome!

Happy Holidays, everyone! &hearts
Marion: You're not the man I knew ten years ago.
Indiana Jones: It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.

- Raiders of the Lost Ark

"Why here?"

He hears the voice before he sees her. It carries calm and cool against the sharply cold air of the beach. The soft, damp sand sticks to his trainers as he steps towards the shoreline.

The light crests over the waterside, and she's standing barefooted in the icy water, the hem of her long silver dress brushing the icy water's edge. Her dress is dark silver, but seems to twinkle, even in the dull greyness of the morning here, like a Gallifreyan night with a thousand dark stars. Her shoulder-length blonde hair whips about her face with the breeze. She brushes her fingertips along her bare arms and shivers.

"Well, it's cold," she says, her voice irritated. It's a surprisingly reassuring sound, the irritation to her voice. It's something he recognizes.

"It's Norway," he agrees, stepping beside her. The water laps the shore before them and instantly bleeds through the fabric of his shoes. She's right, of course. It is cold.

"The correct term is 'Snore-way', I'm sure," she replies tartly, though she turns to face him, a small, teasing smile on her lips. He is immediately startled by her face. Not by how startling it is---by all accounts she has a pretty but plain face in this form---but by how familiar it is. Moments could've passed since he saw her last, not decades.

Or has it been longer? It's getting harder to tell the older he gets. Sometimes the Time War feels like it was yesterday, and he wakes from his evening traces in a cold, frightened sweat. Other days, it feels like a story he only half-remembered, like the story of the old hermit that lived near his home on Gallifrey. Then again, on other days, it feels like something he made up; a story created for him in a Possibility Generator. It's all so…long ago. )

Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 2,189
Partner: Romanadvoratrelundar II (canon)
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
After this.

The things he promised himself he'd never do.

1) Never fall in love with a companion
2) Never bend the laws of time so far they break
3) Go back to Gallifrey

Well, he was having a rather productive Saturday, wasn't he?

He watched Romana sleep for a long while and eventually left the bed to make them some tea. It wouldn't be so bad, once she got over the shock and the breaking of the timeline and the destruction of her home world...

He sighed as he put the kettle on. He should never have gone back. Never have pulled her from what she knew. But then again, if he did she'd be dead. And he couldn't lose her, not after everything.

He grabbed some toast and the tea and headed back towards his bedroom. She'd wake up soon (one could only hope) and at least she'd have some breakfast ready.
RP for [ profile] tastefulfashion, following this.

Christmas! He hadn't had a proper, non-world-ending Christmas in a good long while. He aimed for London, 1973. Before all the catastrophies started happening around London on Christmas, and a few years before all that mess in Wales with maggots.

He'd left Romana to change into whatever she desired back in the wardrobe room, and he ran off into his own bedroom, washed up, and changed into something festive. A red velvet suit with a black shirt underneath. Not his usual fare, but it looked nice. Well, it looked different.

He was reconsidering the blue suit when he heard one of the doors click shut. He turned back to the console and attempted to look nonchalant.
Mercury. Not exactly the most entertaining of planets, but certainly one of the most peaceful. With the atmospheric generator setting up a heat and pressure field around where he sat outside the TARDIS, it was actually quite nice.

He had two white wicker chairs and a table set up outside the TARDIS, with a pot of tea and two cups and saucers out.

After all, he had a date arriving.

Well, not really a date.

Just Romana.

Still! No reason not to put a little effort out!

Dear Romana,

The skyline on Mercury at twilight.

It's beautiful. Lack of atmosphere makes staying here illogical unless you've got a TARDIS to protect you from it. Still, the way the light hits the scalded ground, shines off of the moons and the planets in the skyline…it's quite amazing.

Wouldn't think so much out of little Sol 1.

You know, with this atmospheric stabilizer, could potentially set up a couple of chairs and have a cup of tea here at twilight. And, really, at the way the planet rotates, twilight lasts a good long while. A whole day is fifty-eight days.

Give me a ring if you're interested.


The Doctor

Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 112
rude_not_ginger: (doctor/romana - EG - gallifrey lookup)
( Sep. 19th, 2007 08:30 pm)
Right, now, that was an entirely unpleasant experience. He wrapped the bandage around his wrist and scowled. Dinosaurs. He never used to have this kind of trouble with dinosaurs in his third incarnation, why were they so prevalent and troublesome nowadays?

He checked the butterfly closure on the cut above his eyebrow. This was positively awful, and if he asked his companion for---

His eyebrows painfully knitted together as a strange distress symbol appeared on the console. Was that---no, no...had to have just been using a Gallifreyan channel.

Well, just finished up one adventure, no reason not to start up a new one.

He flipped the switch to the communicator.

"This is the Doctor speaking. How can I help you?"
There are many in your life
And many still to be
Since you are a shining light
There's many that you'll see

You remember all of them.

Slipping like sand through a sieve, they slide into and out of your world. You try to hold onto them, but they move so quickly, and you're sluggish in comparison. You have so much time to say things, to do things, and they have so little.

You have so much time and they have so very little. )

Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,816
When the dance starts, you are alone.

You expect this, of course. You're used to being alone.

A woman takes your hand, pulls you onto the floor, whisks you off your feet. You shouldn't care for her, shouldn't love her---after all, you are so different from the rest of them. Eventually a little girl dances between you, and you're happy. Blissfully, unapologetically happy. Then they spin away, and you're alone again.

Jo. Another woman spins back to you, curly blonde hair and an elfish face. She grins up with a bright, enthusiastic smile, and for the first time in years, you feel young. Another man taps her on the shoulder---he's like you, but more human, and he pulls her away.

Sarah Jane. A bright and innocent brunette pulls you into the dance this time. She's all bold and brave, with big smiles and a heart that is sturdier and surer than the two that beat beneath your chest. She's got big patchwork suns on her striped vest, and you feel brilliant and brave when you spin her out. She doesn't come back from the spin, of course.

Romana Blonde and bright-eyed, another woman spins back, instead. She is your match, in many ways. Wit, intellect. She knows the dance so very well, and she's not ashamed to tell you that she knows it better than you. You only grin back that crooked grin of yours and twirl her, letting her schoolgirl skirt (so silly and immature for one as old and wise as she) spin around her. She takes her own leave from you, wishing to explore the ballroom rather than keep your hands linked in dance.

Nyssa. A fairy-skirted princess with long, raven curls tugs you into the dance this time. She's like you in many ways, yet so very different. You're shyer, now. It's harder to accept that she wants you, that her biting words and brilliantly know-it-all ways are only to impress you. You do, of course, figure it out---but only as she's spinning away.

Grace. An older woman spins back, shoulder-length ginger hair and a beautiful teal opera gown. She's experienced, and when she wants you to kiss her---which she does---she just tells you, doesn't wait, doesn't hesitate. She took your life, it's only proper you save hers. She wants you to leave the dance floor with her and it's tempting---oh, so tempting, but you don't. You can't. You're not ready.

Reinette Her opera gown spins out, and a corseted blonde beauty spins back. She, too, holds the mark of experience, having known you all her life, she's put a claim on you, one you easily accept, want, need. Your hand on her hip, her fingers entwined with yours, and you would like nothing more than to learn her dance as she teaches it to you. You're distracted for a moment and she's gone. That's always the way that it is.

Rose You take the hand of another blonde, this one insanely young and far too naieve. Your dance is joyful, happy, complete. She melts the ice that's settled around your hearts and makes you more...human, again. Heals the wounds that the War left behind. You dip and spin her, but neither of you can hold on, and before you know it, she's gone.

And you're alone again.

You expect this, of course. You should be used to being alone, by now.

Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 576
"Romana, do tell me, what exactly is it about human nature you find to be so horrific?"

"Oh, everything, I should say. No priorities, irrationalities of emotions, constant need for attention, constant need for validation, incessant curiosity---"

"No, no, that's all right, if you have to list everything it will take far too long. Forget I asked."

The conversation replays itself in his mind over and over, on a loop very like a broken record. It was his fourth incarnation, and her in her second. Odd, she was so very young in comparison to him. But then again, they always are, aren't they?

His fingertips brush across the frame of the picture in his hand. 13th century bronze, finely worked into leaves and roses. Thick wedges of grayish dust have implanted themselves between the creases of the leaves and along the innerworkings of the vines. An hour or two ago, he'd managed to memorize where every speck was on that frame, where every imperfection and dent sat looking at him in all their bronze glory. He'd paid too much for that frame—and it wasn't as nice, upon reflection—as he'd thought it was. But it was a birthday gift for a friend, and Gallifreyan birthdays don't come quite as often as Earth ones.

For a moment he tries to remember what year it would be on that planet, and what age she would be today.

It is the remembering, he figures, that make his eyes slip from the frame and onto the picture. The photograph itself is Gallifreyan material - thin, yet durable; supposedly it could survive any travesties that could possibly overtake a photograph. Naturally, however, it is age that has become its downfall, and the edges are curling up in the frame. A pair of old-looking blue eyes look back at him from her smiling face. A bit like swirling through the vastness of the void, or the ever-present wells of Tainoma—depths that one could easily fall into.

It's just an object. )

Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 2,221


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The Doctor


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