darkbunnyrabbit: (Rose alone)
darkbunnyrabbit ([personal profile] darkbunnyrabbit) wrote on September 29th, 2011 at 09:29 am
Only forever farewell (Eleven/Rose PG-13 Doctor Who fic)
Title: Only forever farewell
Author: [livejournal.com profile] darkbunnyrabbit
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Up to Closing Time.
Pairings: Eleven/Rose, with hints of Nine-Ten-Meta/Rose
Characters: Eleven, Rose
Warnings: Copious amounts of alcohol, some suggestive sexual content, but nothing explicit.
Genre: Missing scene, angst, romance
Summary: The Doctor makes an unexpected stop on the Farewell Tour, only to realize it's not so unexpected after all.

He doesn't mean to find her. He's not looking for her. He got his reward and visited all his old companions once already, the Farewell Tour is nothing like that. The Farewell Tour is all about doing everything he's put off, all the things he thought 'I'll save that for a rainy day in space', the things he never had the bravery to do before.

On second thought, maybe he did mean to find her.

She's young, still so young, only a matter of months since he's last seen her. He remembers this night: they'd needed to stop for emergency repairs to the ship after the damage the paradox caused, and he'd thought he'd stop somewhere nice for her while he worked. When he'd said it'd take a couple of days, she'd gone out and not gotten home until the next morning. When she'd come home she'd looked...lighter, a little bit tired, and clearly tousled. He'd refused to think about it except that it must have done her well.

He supposes it's as good a time as any to see her walk into a pub.

There's a grief and guilt in her eyes that he knows is still lingering from her visit with her father...but there's still an innocence and hope in her eyes he misses. One day he'll crush it out and she'll be...colder, stronger, so grown up and brilliant, and every trace of that sweet, all-encompassing innocence will be gone.

She doesn't blink at the menagerie of aliens all assembled in the pub that's closest to that Cantina as just about anywhere in the universe. In hindsight, he can't believe he'd have ever subjected her to this place in the name of helping her 'feel better'. He could have taken her somewhere beautiful and quiet and held her hand as they watched stars birth in brilliant light and color through the night. He could have taken her to see the Alignment of Exidor. He should have taken her to see that, instead of moping about in his ship, wallowing in his own self-pity and letting her wander off on her own where she could get hurt. He should have cared that she was hurt.

She mills about through the crowd smiling and flirting as naturally as he'd expect the Captain to, and he...alright, maybe not the Captain, but not like he'd ever expect her to be comfortable in a pub-like setting. Not that he'd ever really asked, had he? No, he supposes he never did. The aliens clustering around her don't stand a chance, and he can't help a fond smile when he sees that cheeky, self-satisfied little grin she used to wear. The one where she chews on a bit of her tongue like she doesn't know, and beams with all the force of that innocence in her. They never really have stood a chance, have they?

It's not long before she's sitting at the bar not far away, sipping experimentally at the collection of free drinks she's gathered, and holding up light-hearted chats with any alien bloke who wanders up to buy her another. At some point she must catch him staring...he doesn't mean to, but there's nothing else in the pub worth watching, and he can't help but be entertained by the banter she exchanges with the hopeful-but-doomed suitors which still flicker up to her. Of course she wouldn't know how exotic a human looks on this planet, and so she's simply flattered by attention rather than rightfully offended. Whether it's the fact that he's forgotten to order anything or just because he's the only other person in the bar with the same basic shape as her, her attention zooms right in on him, and he feels a renewed sort of empathy for the hapless aliens drawn in by that smile.

She slides him one of her drinks and grins at him before her attention is diverted by a blueish native. At some point after she's engrossed in conversation and looking the opposite direction he remembers to start breathing again.

The afternoon rolls into evening and the sips become proper drinks. The gentle and wry rebuffs become a more serious sort of flirting, and he thinks it might be about time to get back to that Farewell Tour. It's been hours and he only meant to stop for minutes. One of the natives from before returns, clearly possessing some liquid courage of their own, if they're willing to repeat the horrid line about what their people have two of. This time, rather than bemused rebuff they earn a thoughtful pause and a shameless sort of comment he'd never expect her to say.

He already knows one of these petitioners must make a successful appeal, given the state she returns in the next morning. The angry twist in his gut at the native--what's his name? Something rhyme-y and ridiculous--laughing too loudly says that he should go back to the tour before he finds out which one of these persistent natives finally makes a winning argument.

Maybe he's sipped too much of his own glass, because when he stands it's to scoot into the chair next to her instead of marching to the door as he'd decided he would. The curious, amused sparkle in her eyes when she turns to look at him does silly things to him, and on that wave of giddiness he hears himself cheerily inform her that Apalapucians have two hearts. Even the half-drunk suitors recognize she's lost all interest in their clever double entendres after that.

Together they manage to finish the wide array of colorful drinks still in front of her, and she leans on his shoulder when she asks him his name. He knows she'll forget what he whispers by morning, but the reverent way she repeats it, barely audible under the din of the drunken customers, gives him goosebumps he didn't think he could still feel.

Eventually the pub closes, and he doesn't have to pretend nearly as much as he'd suspect to stumble out with her in his arms. When she asks him to take her home, he fends off the moment of panic with quick thinking, grand gestures, and liberal use of psychic paper at a nearby hotel. He debates whether his lack of guilt is only because it's overwhelmed by the warm presence of her on his arm. When he catches the open leer of one of the natives, he decides the only thing he ought to feel guilty for is leaving her on this planet in the first place. When she kisses him, he finds he can't even do that.

He knows what she expects. He might pretend not to know, might even be truthfully oblivious to some of 21st century Earth's cultural quirks, but he's well aware of what she expects of taking a random bloke to a hotel after too much pain and just enough alcohol, and he knows it goes only moreso when it's all about his hearts and lies he's told as fabricated as anyone else in that pub who'd desperately wanted to spend one night with her. He knows, but it doesn't mean he'll observe it. She expects sloppy and fast with just a hint of desperate and uncoordinated, but if this is his one single chance, his very last chance, then it's an expectation he freely defies. After a moment of surprise, she doesn't seem to mind the unexpected.

It's not slow, because he can't hope to be, and it's more than a little desperate, but it's determined and coordinated. It's absolution for her father and her grief, apology and heartfelt expression of all the words he's never said. It's a promise of all he'll show her and lament for all they'll never share.

It's adoration for all of her shining beauty and stinging regret for the innocence he'll rob her of. It's a glimpse of the life she'll one day have and the closure of the one he's lived. It's his fondest hello and his very last goodbye.

At the end of it all he whispers her name in the accent she'll remember, and regardless what she screams he knows it's him she's thinking of. She asks no questions when she curls up next to him, and it's not long before exhaustion and colorful drinks get the better of her. He stays through the night as she sleeps and watches the birth of a star.

When morning arrives and his time runs out, he tucks the covers gently over her and kisses her hair before he leaves. She'll be awake shortly, and some of that pain and guilt from before will finally be washed out. His time is running short and he still has two more places to go before the end, and yet he finds himself hesitating at the door of his ship, gazing up at the window of her room, where she'll be padding into the shower, still groggy and mussed from bed.

She always promised him forever, not just hers but his, with all of the stubborn naivety of her heart, no matter what anyone else ever said.

He ought to have known to believe her.
 
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