Title: Tense

Author: A.j.

Fandom: Doctor Who 2005 with a bit of TCI.

Rating: Parental Guidance Suggested

Summary: Companionship in three parts.

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Present

She is one of many. That picture clears in her mind as the days and weeks and months march on. There are little bits and pieces of those who've gone before, spread just out of sight in rooms that she eventually tries to find. Scarves and gun kits and a yellow bra that she knows isn't hers, and is fairly certain isn't his.

Detritus of lives lived.

She is the newest of many. She is special, in her own way. She knows this as well. But he is 900 years old. Even with this regeneration, bouncing and young and carefree as he can be, he doesn't speak of those past. Even Jack - beautiful, lost, Jack - isn't mentioned.

She wonders how many special, fantastic companions live only in his head now.

Rose wonders when - not if - she'll become one of that silent legion.

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Past

He remembers her best because she'd been the one out of all of them who'd told him she'd be the least memorable. Laughing and slightly drunk on local wine, she'd turned and smiled at him just so. "You've had lots of companions, haven't you Doctor?"

Whether he'd been feeling truthsome, or just clear, he'd nodded. Smiled wide and bright. "Hundreds. I've probably forgotten more than a few. But they were all wonderful."

She'd laughed then. He remembers her like that. Just like that. Head back, hair bright in the firelight. "I'll be the one you forget, Doctor. The little girl who was just on for the ride. But that's okay. I've written my name on my wall. The TARDIS, she'll remember me for you."

He wondered if that was true.

&

Future

She will be strong in the end. (Will know what is coming and when and why, because she has always known what is coming and when and why.) She will be time incarnate. It has always passed through her. It has been and always will be her home, even in cessation.

She will wonder if it is death. She will decide that she doesn't know, and that will make her happy in the end. It will be very tiresome to know everything for so long.

But in that last second, in that last quantum tick, she will remember (because what is time but every moment in one with every possibility and every thing in every where and every when) that she is not alone. Inside of her will be her companion, and here where she is and will be and was, there is her. A little girl who will (has, did) hold her metaphorical hand in this.

She will not die alone.

-fin-