Okay, so this isn't the full bit of Reinette's whatsitness, but whatever. It's an update, yeah?
Disclaimer: If I did, my friend Luke would be Eleven. I wouldn't even have to make up a personality for him, he's that Doctorish. O.o But no, I do not own it, and therefore poor Luke must be mostly-unknown and eccentric. Poor Luke.
SIAPNIAN: Blame/thank TCASM for her loveliness in prodding meh. ^.^
The next time he visited her, she was walking with her friend Catherine— who actually reminded her somewhat of Keisha. Her presence and her wit actually momentarily disguised the itch in her mind.
"Oh, Catherine, you are too wicked," she laughed. Rose 1 chuckled from her spot in the corner of her consciousness, but was more engaged with something on which Rose could not quite focus.
It's the Doctor, idiot.
Rose whipped around, but saw nothing. The niggling glow in her head would not be ignored, but it was apparent that the Doctor did not wish to be observed this time.
"Oh, speaking of wicked," continued Catherine, oblivious to her friend's distraction, "I hear Madame de Châteauroux is ill and close to death."
"Yes," said Rose, schooling her voice and expression into a façade of despair. "I am devastated."
"Oh, indeed," agreed Catherine, a smile she couldn't quite conceal throwing Rose into laughter again. "I myself am frequently inconsolable."
"The King will, of course, will be requiring a new mistress."
"You love the King, of course," said Catherine.
Rose hesitated. "He is the King," she said after a moment. "And I love him with all my heart. And I look forward to meeting him." Before she could stop herself, yanked by the little telepathic impulse she should really learn to control, she had whipped her head around again in search of her Time Lord. He ducked behind one of the solid blocks that interspersed the fence at regular intervals, as if she couldn't see the flash of brown pinstripes and the sunlight reflecting off of his cream-coloured trainer as his hiding-place proved insufficient to conceal him. As if any hiding-place could mask the impossible, almost delicious tickle in the back of her mind.
This time, though, she had not been discreet enough about her glancing. Catherine saw her and paused. "Is something wrong, my dear?"
Rose struggled for words. "Not… wrong, no." How could the Doctor's presence be anything but perfect, anything but benevolent? And yet she couldn't have him. He wasn't hers, not yet. And yet, at the same time, he was hers, Time twisting and fracturing around them both as if on purpose to make her life a living hell.
"Every woman in Paris knows your ambitions," Catherine continued, attempting to modulate her voice back into a semblance of all that was casual.
"Every woman in Paris shares them," Rose retorted, a little snappishly. She felt the Doctor's eyes on her, singeing her skin; why did she have to be here, now, when he was so close and she… had to fulfil a role in history that never should have been hers?
"You know, of course, that the King is to attend—"
Should is a funny word, Rose 1 said, melancholy, trying to twist her successor's eyes back to the only other Gallifreyan in existence. I mean, technically speaking, you— well, we— were always supposed to come here, and you were always Reinette, so—
She really didn't want to do this. He didn't even look anything like the Doctor. Anything at all.
You could always pretend that he's a future version, Rose 1 had told her helpfully, and she was really trying. It worked, almost, as long as she didn't look him in the eye; so she kept circling him, moving to stand behind him whenever he tried to face her. If she looked him in the eye, if she saw the bitter, shallow, empty place where the dim glitter of the Imprintur should glow, she knew her façade would crumble instantly and she would ruin everything.
Now she knew she had been in France too long. She was thinking words like façade.
And even worse, so much worse, was the knowledge that right at this moment the Doctor was watching her. The Doctor, Mickey, and her own previous self, all watching her. She knew that the other Rose was mocking her, trying to force herself back into the Time Lord's esteem by the rather immature mangling of her honour; she knew that Mickey giggled at that, all too ready to be ridiculously amused by anything Rose happened to say. Did the Doctor care about that at all? Did he feel anything now as he watched…?
For my own sake, I hope he didn't, Rose 1 said darkly. Even if I do have another third of the story.
Rose ignored her. The King left at last, off to do… whatever it was he was to do; Rose was too agitated to care. She went to the mirror that wasn't a mirror at all, placed herself where she faintly remembered the Doctor to be, and inhaled slowly. She could hear him, barely, even though the time differential made it impossible to feel him. It was strange, this amalgamation of senses; right now she felt like she had before she had regenerated in the first place, but as soon as he came through that door… she would know everything that he was thinking, if she only dared to slip deeply enough into his consciousness.
"France. It's a different planet."
She had to smile at that.
And then, with a sudden jolt of awareness, she remembered why she was here and what was about to happen. The hard, resonant, mocking tick-tocks of the clockwork creature assaulted her ears and she spun around, forcing her features into some imitation of angry fear when she had already begun to glow. Stolen her moment with him might be, but it was probably all she was going to get in this life.
"How long have you been standing there?" she demanded of it.
It didn't answer.
Instantly responding to her order, it whipped around. She stepped back, an instinctive reaction; even though she knew no harm would come to her, the horrible emotionless mask covering the monster's featureless face stirred something inside her that she couldn't quite understand. Even though she'd lived through this before (albeit on the other side of the equation), it still… hadn't quite lost its capacity for inspiring fear, however irrational.
The Doctor's appearance was near instant. He whipped open the concealed doorway and she had to feign surprise as he passed beside her with a hurried "Hello, Reinette. Hasn't time flown?"
"D— Fireplace man!" she stuttered, barely catching herself from her slip with a hastily-recalled memory from her other self's time.
Just as promised, the Doctor immobilised the creature with Mickey's fire extinguisher, which he rapidly tossed back to the human— the only human in the room, amusingly enough.
The robot clicked, whirred, trying to force itself back into mobility.
"What's it doing?" Mickey asked. Reinette pressed her lips together; she'd forgotten how irritating he could be in this time period.
"Switching back on," answered the Doctor, not taking his eyes off of it. "Melting the ice."
"And then what?"
"Then it kills everyone in the room." His voice was vague, distracted; Rose could feel him searching, trying to pin down the frictionless ripple in the room that was her consciousness. She dodged him and he followed her, and their telepathic dance was such that the shock and fear when the robot reached out to him was far from being false— but he stepped back anyway, unfazed. Clearly he was better at multitasking than she was. "Focuses the mind, doesn't it? Who are you?" he added, voice hardening, the last words aimed at the robot alone as he finally gave up the chase— for the moment. "Identify yourself."
It tilted its head, mocking him. He sighed, rolling his head over to face Reinette— Rose.
Ha! See, it's easier, isn't it? You did that earlier, too. She was grinning, triumphant, as she mocked her future self.
Rose wanted to slap her previous self, but wasn't entirely sure how to go about it.
Just try it, Camilla. You weren't the one who had the Bad Wolf in her head. You still don't know how to control your mind, do you?
"Order it to answer me," the Doctor whined, interrupting her argument with herself.
"Why should it listen to me?" she asked with barely a hesitation. Now wasn't the time to figure out how to telepathically torture other facets of her own being.
He turned back around. "I don't know," he said. "It did when you were a child."
Rose felt her previous self— her physical previous self— staring at him. She knew her thoughts, knew her instinctive dislike for her future form, and squirmed lightly under the knowledge that the creature she had so bitterly hated was, in fact, herself.
Irony was an amazing thing.
"Let's see if you've still got it," he murmured in her ear, and she was almost too agitated to notice his closeness.
She let the first Rose think about that and, still stinging slightly from the accusation that she knew nothing about controlling her own mind, tried to cut herself off from the other version. The outdated version, she couldn't quite help but snap at her own consciousness, but all the other creature inhabiting her brain did was roll her metaphysical eyes and shake her metaphysical head.
"Answer his question," she ordered the robot, voice low and smooth. Perhaps it was too smooth, too easy for a woman who should, by all rights, be frightened out of her wits, but did it matter? "Answer any and all questions put to you." Out of the corner of her eye she saw her previous self glance over at her, then back at the clockwork creature, who paused.
It lowered its hand, obeying. "I am Repair Droid Seven," it informed them.
It was almost time. The adventure had nearly begun properly.
Reinette inhaled slowly, shakily, and waited for it.
You did it again, said Rose 1, insufferably smug again.
Like I said, didn't get to the end of the episode, but you know what? I don't care. Muahaha.
Remember, I DO love you guys, despite my laziness. And I am starting to want to write fanfiction again, so my laziness may be short-lived. Huzzah!
Next up... ah... Ah, it's The Sea. Marvellous. -mild sarcasm-