Talking to Fortuna by Ravenfur
Author's Note: Well, I've succumbed to a mini-plot bunny and had to get it out of my head. Talking to Fortuna is the result. To those who are reading my other fanfiction, my muse has taken a road trip and I'm not sure when she's coming back. I'm not planning on abandoning either story, updates are just slow. Very slow.
Anyways, Doctor Who is owned by the BBC and I'm sure a couple other things have a stock in it as well.
Spoilers for The Stone Rose, a Tenth Doctor novel, and the Season 2 episode Doomsday.
The first time that Karl Squire saw the odd man was a Saturday, much like any other Saturday where he worked. The British Museum and the patrons were quiet, he observed from his post as security guard in the sculpture room.
The sculpture room was empty, not normal for the middle of a Saturday afternoon, and it was at about three-o-clock the odd man walked in. Ignoring every statue as if they weren't there, he walked directly to the statue of the Roman goddess Fortuna. After taking a look around the room he pulled out two flowers from the pocket of his brown jacket and laid them at the feet of Fortuna.
From where he was standing, Karl could see him talking to the statue as if it were alive, but due to the distance he couldn't hear. He talked for quite some time, sometimes surreptitiously brushing his eyes as if he was crying.
When he was done talking he stared at the statue for a few moments, then turned and walked out of the sculpture room. After standing still, as if the odd man would return, Karl walked over to the statue. Laid at its feet were a red rose and a pink primrose, the stems intertwined.
Curious, he called his sister - a florist up in Norwich - after his shift was over and asked her about the two flowers. "Well, what color was the rose?"
"Red, Cassidy," he replied.
Cassidy hmmed, then answered. "A red rose means 'I love you,' and the primrose means 'I can't live without you.' Where'd you get that combination?" So he told her about the weird man who spent the better part of an hour talking to a statue, and the two flowers laid at the goddesses feet. "Sounds like he's in love with a statue." Cassidy replied.
Two days later the odd man came in again and spent an hour talking to Fortuna. He left another pair of flowers, a red rose and a primrose. A month into this routine the odd man brought a woman with him. She stayed at the door to the sculpture room while he spent his hour with Fortuna. He left the same two flowers and then walked out, the woman following him. Karl was pretty good at reading people, and saw that while she might have been interested in him, the odd man seemed to only have eyes for whoever he was talking to through Fortuna.
So the pattern continued. Every third day the odd man showed up. Sometimes he brought the woman with him but most often he came alone.
Karl had gotten permission to place a vase next to the base of the statue and kept whatever roses or primroses that still looked fresh watered. The first day after he had placed the vase there the brown-haired man looked over at him, then smiled and nodded. The flowers went into the vase after that.
One time Karl walked past as the odd man was talking. The conversation confused him.
"So, we went to Raxacoricofallapatorius and I checked up on Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen. It turns out that she's now the Tull'ek'quu on the planet, kind of like a president or prime minister. You wouldn't believe how much she's changed, since we met her as Margret! She has some of the memories of when we met her before, but I guess nurture won out over nature this time." He nattered on at the statue for another half hour, then he was done talking, he placed the flowers in the vase and left.
And so the visits continued. One day he got up the courage to ask the odd man some questions. "Why do you come here so often?"
His eyes on Fortuna, the man answered, "I lost the woman I love. I never got the chance to tell her that, I ran out of time." He laughed at that, Karl guessed it was a private joke. The odd man continued, looking over the serene face of the statue. "Fortuna reminds me of her, reminds me of the things that we did, the places we went. When I'm here it's like she's still with me." Karl didn't ask anything else, he just gave the odd man his space.
Twelve months into the routine, the day everything changed, the odd man was standing in front of Fortuna. A gold spark appeared in the middle of the room and grew until there was a humanoid shape to the golden energy. Karl could feel his bones humming from where he stood. The golden light warmed him through, and he could hear singing in his head, like a choir of angels.
The humanoid shape spoke. "I am the Bad Wolf. I create myself, and I save myself from pain. The Bad Wolf and the Lonely God, alone no more, together again for forever." The echoing voice gave him goosebumps. On one end it sounded like a girl, but on the other it sounded older than time, very sad and lonely.
Karl watched as the gold shape became more defined. It was a woman with brown hair, whose clothes would not have drawn a second glance if he had seen her on the street. The man who had been standing in front of the statue of Fortuna walked over to the woman who was still glowing brightly, floating a foot above the ground. The expression on his face was gobsmacked, then it turned to anger.
"Rose..." the man whispered, his face white as a sheet. Then he visibly brought himself back together. "Bad Wolf, leave Rose. This power will kill her if it continues." The odd man's voice was commanding.
"That is impossible, my Doctor. We are one, the Bad Wolf and Rose Tyler. We are the same, two halves of a whole. Whenever she needs me I am here," the odd discordant voice said from the woman's mouth. " And fear not, for she can not be hurt by me. I've slept long enough, before she needed me, when she was trapped in the other realm. I will sleep once more until she needs me again."
The golden glow dissipated and then was gone. The woman bonelessly collapsed to the floor, into the odd man's arms. From where he was standing Karl watched as the woman opened her eyes and looked up into the man's eyes.
"Doctor," she whispered, her voice hoarse. "I made it?"
The man smiled tremulously. "You stupid little ape. That should have killed you!" But he was smiling, no-he was grinning like mad. Then they kissed like Karl had only seen people in movies kiss, full of passion and love.
They broke apart, so wrapped up in their little world that they didn't notice Karl watching them from behind a replica of one of the terracotta warriors of Emperor Qin.
The Doctor helped an unsteady Rose to her feet. "So why are we in the museum near my statue? I thought for sure that I'd reappear in the TARDIS," Rose asked after taking a look around.
The Doctor brushed some brown hair out of her face. "Fortuna was the only thing I really had left of you. Sure, your stuff was there, but none of it reminded me of you as much as your statue. I've been visiting often."
Rose walked closer to Fortuna and from where he was standing Karl was struck by the resemblance between statue and what he assumed to be a human. (After all, the glowy-lightshow-teleportation thing was not something a normal human could do.)
"I still have those earrings," she murmured. Rose then turned back to the Doctor. "What's with the flowers?"
The Doctor pulled two flowers, white and red, out of his jacket pocket. The stems were intertwined, as the hundreds of other flowers he had laid at the statue's feet had been. "It was my way of saying I love you and I can't live without you," he murmured as he handed the flowers to Rose.
They smiled and shared another kiss. Karl watched from behind the terracotta warrior as the Doctor looked at Rose. "Come on, let's go home."
Hand-in-hand the two walked out of the sculpture room.
Ending Note: Please review and tell me what you think!