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Title: Hwythau Inni Ninnau Achub O (They Save Us From Ourselves)
Author: [info]qafkinnetic
Rating(s): PG-13
Pairing(s): None
Warning(s): None

Summary: The Doctor takes Rose and Jack to Woman Wept.


Jack and Rose were draped across the pilot’s chair in the TARDIS, her head on his shoulder, his face smooshed against her hair. The Doctor was unsurprised at how tired they were. They’d just spent four days running around Uyapa trying to avoid being caught by the military who thought they were terrorists from another planet. He’d let them sleep. The TARDIS created a room just off the console area, and prodded their minds enough so they’d wake and move to the huge, soft bed there, where they lay back down and promptly fell back to sleep.

He sighed as he watched his two friends curled against each other in slumber. He was glad to have found them, these two wonderful humans he was certain he could trust. It almost terrified him, how tenderly he felt for them, as some part of his mind told him he’d lose them long before he was ready. But he shook that darkness away, deciding suddenly that he was going to take them somewhere he knew was peaceful. A planet with a strict peace policy, maybe, or an abandoned but maintained planet, or something. He smiled and turned back to the console room to begin planning.

Jack snuffled into Rose’s hair. He was dreaming. A hole in the sky had opened up, the way they spoke of a hole in Old Earth’s ozone, and it was burning him up. It was looking into the heart of him, the soul of him, deep into his essence and purpose and it hurt and yet it felt wonderful. He was burning up from the inside out and tears were sliding down his face but at the same time it was the sweetest feeling he had ever felt and his chest ached from the wonder of it. He was clawing to get out, and yet he wanted to stay in its warm embrace forever, until an invisible being caressed his cheek and hummed in his ear and the hole in the sky pulled in on itself, closing by increments until it was sealed and it let go of him, dropping him back into himself, and he fell to the ground, feeling more exhausted than he had in years and yet more rested than he had in his whole life.

Rose was dreaming as well. She dreamt of being trapped in a maze that constantly changed, dead-ending, boxing her in. She was getting more and more frustrated, and if she tried to scale the walls to see across the labyrinth, they’d warp and twist and shake her off. She couldn’t stand being stuck. And then a hand, or some powerful being with tendrils of light and warmth and safety very much like a large hand, came from above and scooped her up, lifting her away from her cage and up, up, up to freedom, and she could see lands and Time spreading out before her, opening up to her, there for her to explore and learn and love. And she smiled and felt free.

They woke slowly, and didn’t bother untangling themselves until they were fully alert, feeling rested and content. Together, they went hand in hand to the kitchen to make breakfast. They bantered happily as they prepared their food. Rose grinned at Jack’s dislike of orange juice.

“You’ll learn to like it. I’ll make you like it.”

He stuck his tongue out at her and went back to his ronia, a weird, forest green mush that tasted to Rose like someone had mixed honey, cloves, oatmeal and gravy together. The Doctor joined them just as the kettle whistled.

“Of course you’d get here in time for the tea.” Jack joked.

The Doctor took his mug of tea and a bowl of porridge from Rose, grinning at the Captain. “You know me, always ready for tea.”

“What are we doing today, Doctor?” Rose took her seat in between the two men, attacking her pancakes with gusto.

“I know I sound like a mum, but eat your breakfast and then I’ll show you.” He laughed as Rose and Jack simultaneously rolled their eyes.

“You’re right. You do sound like a mum.”

The Doctor smirked, and left the kitchen with Jack and Rose staring after him. As soon as he turned the corner, they dove into their food, hoping to finish quickly so they could get on with their next adventure.

The pair of humans were smiling excitedly when they stepped into the console room. The Doctor knew they’d love what he had in mind, even if they were hoping for a more adrenaline-inducing adventure. But he knew how they both appreciated beauty, and he knew they’d never want to leave once they got there.

“Come here,” he beckoned them. Then he pressed a button on the console, and the TARDIS’ doors opened gently. “It’s all right, there’s a forcefield around the TARDIS. She keeps the air stable and makes sure you two don’t fall out. Go look.” He jerked his head towards the open doors.

Jack and Rose crowded together at the doors. Rose gasped. The planet below was beautiful. Much of it was an icy light blue, but a few white continents were scattered across the sphere, the largest of which curled around itself, curving and arching, looking all the more like a woman collapsing in despair.

The Doctor put his arms around them gently. “It’s called Havyli Soruwa. Woman Wept, in Old Earth English.”

“It’s beautiful.”

Jack just whistled in amazement.

“Ready?”

“Yes,” it came as a chorus.

The TARDIS doors closed and the ship shuddered as she moved from space to the planet. Rose moved to open them again, but a noise from the Doctor stopped her.

“You two better bundle up, it’s cold out there.”

“What about you?”

“I put on an extra layer, I’ll be fine. Now go on.”

There was a mad scramble to the wardrobe and back, and then Jack and Rose were both bundled up and bouncing like puppies.

When they stepped out, the first they did was stop and stare. They were on a beach, miles and miles wide, glittering with snow in the gentle blue light. Waves, huge and shining and smooth, were frozen in a thrashing storm, forever paralyzed in magnificent chaos. The trio stood just outside the blue box, transfixed by the sight. Their breath puffed out in little clouds as they sighed in amazement.

“What happened to it? Why is it so quiet here? And frozen like that?”

“No one lives here, not anymore. They all moved off to other planets. This planet was hit by another, and that moved its orbit farther from its sun, and blanketed the atmosphere in debris. It froze everything. When the atmosphere cleared, the planet was too far away from the sun to thaw. And so everyone left, off to better a climate and better conditions.”

“But it’s beautiful!”

“I know. That’s why I brought you here. Now, I know you’re dying to play. Have fun.”

Jack and Rose were off like a shot, racing each other to the edge of the solid waves before dashing up and down the arcs of frozen water. The Doctor stood and watched them, feeling his chest swell with affection and a tender expression fall across his face.

Rose’s shrieking laugh reached his ears as she and Jack rolled down the hill of a wave, landing in a heap at the base. He stood at the edge of the frozen sea, arms folded across his chest, watching his two friends play like children. There was something about them that made him feel peaceful and satisfied, something he hadn’t felt since he’d last regenerated. He wanted it to last always.

Then they grabbed his hands on either side and dragged him out onto the frozen sea, where they marvelled together as they strolled beneath the huge waves, faces illuminated by the aquatic glow of the stormy arches.

“It’s beautiful,” he heard Rose sigh softly more than once.

After the two humans had tired themselves out, they flopped onto the snow at the edge of the sea. Twin blushes rose high on their cheeks and their eyes were bright with the cold and exertion. Rose nestled her head on the crook of Jack’s shoulder and looked up at the Doctor.

Jack smiled at him. “Come join us, Doctor. It’s more comfortable than it looks, I swear.”

Rose held out her hand and the Doctor took it, allowing her to pull him down until he was lying down as well. The snow was soft and not wet enough to soak through their clothes. All three of them breathed deeply at the same time, letting out a simultaneous cathartic sigh as they relaxed.

“I don’t think I’ve felt this good in years,” Jack admitted.

“Me, neither.” Rose agreed.

“Mmm,” the Doctor simply made a noise of assent. The presence of his content companions was filling him with warmth and he almost didn’t want to move. They were all at peace in the glittering stillness and silence of Woman Wept, the shadows of the frozen waves rising above them, reflecting the icy blue light of the darkening sky.

He was staring up at the cold stars of another galaxy, basking in the calm, when there was a rustle of cloth beside him and a soft, “Can I?” He turned his head to see Jack and Rose kissing softly, lips curled in smiles. A spark of jealousy lanced through him, laced with affection, but he shook it off. He knew Jack could and would never love Rose that way. He knew he was simply grateful to them for changing him for the better. Then the two humans were parting and Jack reached for the Doctor, kissing him soundly. It was gentler and more loving than he expected from someone as dynamic and bright as Jack. It caught him off guard. His heart flip-flopped as Jack pulled away and tugged Rose forward. She looked uncertain for a moment, before wrapping her arms around him and nuzzling his cheek gently.

“Thank you, Doctor. Thank you for bringing me here.” She kissed him sweetly, tentatively at first. The Doctor was jolted by the emotion rolling off her in waves, making his stomach clench and his heart constrict, leaving him with a tingling sensation as he kissed her back. For a moment a zing of energy passed between them, making him pull her close, but then he released her and she sighed happily.

They lay back down on the soft snow, as if a round of kissing was perfectly normal, and in a life like theirs, it was. Their breaths puffed out in little clouds of steam that dissipated in the dark, and Jack tightened his hold on Rose’s hand. For a while, they all stared up at the stars as the Doctor told them about the planets far beyond this one and the stars they could see from here.

Hours later, a wind whipped across the beach and the decision to go back inside the TARDIS where it was warm was unanimous. They walked together up the shore, feeling calm and content. The TARDIS greeted them with a hum as they walked in and kicked the temperature up a notch so they could heat up.

After shedding their wintry garb, they all headed to kitchen for cocoa (or tea, in the Doctor’s case). A sofa was conjured up once their drinks were prepared, and they cuddled together under a soft blue blanket.

“That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. It was beautiful.”

Rose nodded, her fingers curled around her mug, rubbing thoughtfully. “Indescribable. It was wonderful. Thank you.”

“Of course.”

They sipped their drinks and discussed their next plans. Rose wanted to go somewhere amazing (which Jack said was a given), Jack wanted to go somewhere adventure was guaranteed. The Doctor didn’t care so long as his friends were there, and said he’d let them figure it out on their own what kind of place they wanted to go to.

Finally all conversation died down and they were left staring off into middle distance, each lost in their own thoughts.

Jack was wondering what his life might have been like had he never rescued Rose. He was happy to have found this pair of new friends, who had made him realize that he could do better saving civilizations and having fun than he could making money and pulling cons. He was glad they’d taken him on board, saved him from that bomb on his Chula ship. He was so thankful that Rose and the Doctor had looked through his scam, looking through his conning mask and seen whatever kind-hearted being lay beneath, something no one had noticed or seen for a long time, and had brought him into their world. He had no idea how to show them how grateful he was. He just knew that he had been saved, and that nothing could ever repay them.

Rose was thinking about Earth, about her home and home time. She thought of how boring and unfulfilling and awful her life would have been if she’d not been the last to leave, if some other girl had been forced to bring the lottery money down to Wilson, how her life would’ve got on. She hated thinking about it, about how dead-end her life would have been, about how she probably wouldn’t have gone to uni, would’ve ended up in some lame retail job. She was so glad she was out here with the Doctor, running around space, having adventures and seeing beauty in life and exploring and new worlds. She was so glad the Doctor had saved her from the Nestine, saved her from her dead-end life, and brought her here among the stars.

The Doctor was contemplating his new companions. It amazed him how much he loved them and how protective he was of them. He thought he’d never allow that to happen again after the Time War. But somehow, these two had slipped in under the wire and he was so grateful for that. They’d given him joy again. They were showing him how to live again. They had rescued him from the dark spiral he’d been in since the War. They had saved him from himself.

They had been saved.

And they could never be more grateful.

Date: 2011-12-24 01:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tracy-lousia.livejournal.com
Lovely fic, really enjoyed the interaction between them all. Thanks.

Date: 2012-01-02 10:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emraldeyedauter.livejournal.com
This was beautiful. Lovely from the beginning with the Doctor thinking of his companions to the scenes of Woman's Wept and the playfulness and sweet kisses between all three. And finally how each contemplates how grateful they are to be together and how their lives have changed.

A delightful read. Thank you.

November 2012

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