: The Other Side of the HorizonAuthor
: Rose, Ten, JackRating
: PG (for language)Summary
: That's what happens when you get what you think
: These characters and settings belong to the Beeb, not me. I'm just thankful they're here to play with.A/N
: This fic is a response and a sequel of sorts to _usakeh_
's wonderful fic, Event Horizon
and I recommend you read that one first. This is the first fan fic I've written in four years.
ETA: I know the continuity here is a little screwy, but I just couldn't write this with Martha. It had to be Rose, at least for me. Call it an AU.
Jack had kept it light with the Doctor, even after they’d come through the storm. He’d awakened on the console room floor to find the Doctor kneeling by him, slamming his fists against the deck, his eyes full of terror, willing Jack back to life.
Afterward, the Doctor had made him promise not to push the issue of sex between them again. Jack had agreed and joked about there being other fish in the sea. He’d fallen asleep so quickly after their encounter – their mindfuck – in the console room. But the truth was, he hadn’t expected it, the raw, raging hurricane of time and emotion and history that had erupted inside him — the wild conflagration that was the psychic touch of the Doctor’s mind — when they had kissed. It seemed like it had happened forever ago.
Had it happened only the night before?
Jack didn’t remember how he’d gotten to the small bedroom in which he found himself. Clearly he was still in the TARDIS, but he wasn’t sure about the time or the day or any of it. He tried to push himself up off the bed and found little strength in his arms for the effort. He fell back onto the pillow and stared at the ceiling.
He’d kept it light with the Doctor; he was, after all, a 51st century kind of guy. But Jack’s pushing the issue of sex hadn’t been about recreation, despite how he'd framed the proposition, and despite what the Doctor may have thought before going in. They shared the cold passing of eternity, the enormity of which Jack knew he couldn’t share with another. They both stood on the edge of death every day, able to touch it but unable to receive its gentle release. If the Doctor didn’t know it before, then after sharing those moments of madness, he could have no doubt. It’s all fun and games until someone crawls inside your mind. But still he’d stepped away. Jack understood. He turned onto his side and curled into himself.
The door slid open.
“Jack?” Rose stood at the door, frowning. “What’s going on?” She came into the room, slid the door shut behind her, then sat down on the edge of the bed. What could he tell her? Anything? He’d have to tread carefully.
“Just sleeping late.” He rolled onto his back again, steeled himself to rise, and managed at least to push himself into a sitting position.
“I don’t believe you. Something’s wrong. The Doctor won’t look at me this morning. And you...”
“Whatever happened is between the Doctor and me. Don’t worry about it.”
“I’m not having that. What is it?”
He looked at his hands resting in his lap. Looking at her would mean revealing everything. He wasn’t sure he was ready for that.
Rose touched his cheek. He jumped, unprepared for the contact, unready for the shock of flesh that didn’t carry a charge, a firestorm. Hers was a purely human touch. Such a warm, gentle thing. Suddenly, he was trembling. He pushed himself back against the wall. "No."
“Oh.” Rose scooted up the bed and put her arms around him. Her hair smelled like berries. She was soft and pink and he fell into her embrace without thought, buried his face in her neck and closed his eyes. He breathed her in, shuddered, and sobbed just once. Safe haven, stolen relief. Silence. Peace. He held on until he knew there would be no tears, then pulled away from her. She leaned toward him and they sat forehead to forehead, shrouded by the pale curtain of her hair. She took his hands in hers and he clutched them. A new privacy, a new intimacy.
“Did he say no?” she asked, almost a whisper. It was in her voice; she suspected what he would say.
He shuddered again at the question.
“He said yes. For just long enough.”
“Oh God.” She put her arms around him again. This time, he pushed his arms underneath hers and pulled her to him in a hard, desperate hug. She rocked him and held him and didn’t let go.#
The Doctor felt Jack wake up. Here in the console room, he could feel the energy inside the TARDIS shift, feel her becoming aware of him, making psychic space for him.
Rose had left only moments ago. He knew she’d been baffled by his silence, but she understood he needed space. She didn’t ask why. It was one of the things that he loved about her.
The energy shifted again. He couldn’t help glancing behind him toward the corridor. He swept his gaze over the console quickly just to make sure things were stable, then followed the sensations down the hall. Jack’s door was closed. The sensations came from the room beyond.
He hesitated, then leaned gently against the bulkhead beside the door, one hand on the wall. He reached out with his mind, just a tendril of thought.
Banked flame. Calm sea. The way Rose cradled Jack, the Doctor almost envied him, but that he’d been there himself. This was different. This was theirs. It was solely human.
He stepped away and left them to their peace.