Characters/Pairing: Ten, Ten/Rose, Ten/previous companions
Word count: 583
And don’t tell me—
Let me guess
I could change it all around if I would just say yes
But how am I different?
How am I different?
How am I different?
I thought you and me were … but I obviously got it wrong. I’ve been to the year five billion, right, but this … now this is really seeing the future. You just leave us be’ind. Is that what you’re going to do to me?
No. Not to you—
But, Sarah Jane- you were that close to her once, and now... you never even mention her. Why not?
I don't age, I regenerate. But humans decay; you wither and you die. Imagine watching that happen to someone who you—
There it was. That word. Like a button that must not ever never be pressed. And he’d almost done it. Almost stumbled right into it.
You can spend the rest of your life with me. But I can't spend the rest of mine with you. I have to live on, alone. That's the curse of the Timelords.
He didn’t finish and she didn’t press him. Neither one of them liked where that particular conversation led. And so they both began to play his game of deny it’s there and maybe it will go away.
He played it really well this time around. He ran so far and so fast he crashed into the life of another blond girl. In another time. In another place. And for five minutes. Or maybe five hours. He pretended she didn’t matter to him. Went so far as to imagine life without her. Happiness without her.
He touched the mind of a magical, glittering, woman. She saw him. She saw him truly. Saw him in a way he never wanted to be seen. Saw him in a way he was desperate to be seen. But all he saw was Rose.
And so he danced and cavorted. He promised to take her with him. Pretended he didn’t see what he saw.
When he read her letter he heard her words, but they were in Rose’s voice. And all the excitement of the new, the rush of the running, faded to ash.
For here was one more girl. Bright eyed and smiling. And dead. Just like Polly and Romana. Just like one day soon—Sarah Jane. And then Rose.
And the look in her eyes. Don’t you love me? Don’t you love me best of all? I know now I’m not the only one. But couldn’t you just say I was? That I am? Isn’t it different with me? Couldn’t I be special?
In the face of another golden girl. In the shining, bright eyes of another woman he saw her again. He watched her die. And in that instant he saw all of them die. Saw Rose die.
As she slipped through his fingers he wondered all over again. Were any of them special? Did he love any of them? Did he love all of them?
He was alone again. Staring out over time and space. And yet he wasn’t. He was with her. On that distant shore.
Once more he was caught in a moment at which to change everything. The moment when he would finally say it. And it slipped right through his fingers.
Or did he let it?
He held her words in his heart. In his hearts. And he waited, not daring to hope—that he would see her again.