First Published Fanfiction, so please reveiw and be constructive/positive, and apologies for any awafulness which may follow.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Doctor Who :)
It took Rose 47 days to laugh.
Her mum was in the kitchen; she had taken to baking cakes, muffins, scones in recent weeks, all of the things Rose had loved when she was a child. Now she could barely eat a thing except tomato soup, the really cheap supermarket own-brand kind, which was sustaining her without the need to chew or prepare. She had wandered into the kitchen, thinking she might boil the kettle and make a cup of tea she wouldn't drink, just to pass the time.
"Allright, love? How about coming and helping me with this radio, eh? You know I can't get it to work." Jackie, covered in flour, beckoned to the daughter who no longer seemed like her daughter, who had turned into a shivering ghost of herself, walking around the house like a lost soul. Rose joined her by the old radio, her eyes blank and expression wan.
"You just turn the dial twice two left, once to the right, flick up the switch and click the button." She recited, thinking of the TARDIS. "It's quite simple really. You just have to treat it gently." She ran a hand through her hair, how long had it been since she'd washed it? She'd lost track of days and routines. She'd lived without them for so long they seemed alien to her. Rose gasped as she banged her wrist on the work top, the pain blossoming through her completely at odds with the tiny injury she had sustained. Everything hurt so much nowadays, her skin was as tender as a newborns, like when you have a cold. It was as if her body was following the example of her heart, hurting as if it had been burned all over until she wished she could just crawl out of herself and vanish so she wouldn't have to feel all this.
Jackie watched Rose rub her wrist, her eyes dead and cold. It had almost been better in the days when she had cried, had sobbed and screamed and wailed and wept all hours of the day and night. Jackie had held her and Mickey had stopped her doing some very stupid things, and Jackie thought that the day Rose had slept the night through, and woke up without tears pouring down face that things would get better from now on. But they hadn't. It was far more terrifying to see her void of expression, as if her agony was too deep to put into words.
On the radio, the DJ announced the next song was by Robert Palmer. That rang a bell with Jackie, didn't he sing that one...
Give me the news,
I got a bad case, of loving you!"
Shit. For a moment the kitchen seemed frozen with utter shock whilst they both stared at the radio in horror. Jackie fumbled to turn it off, but couldn't remember how to do it.
"Damn it!" she exclaimed, looking over to see Rose bent double, her hair falling over her face and making a strange gasping noise.
It took a while to realise she was laughing, actually laughing, laughing as if she would die from lack of air. Rose threw back her head and gripped the work surface to keep herself standing, as Jackie looked on in astonishment.
"What," she giggled, "a bloody irony!" Then she dissolved again.
She laughed until she cried, and then she did cry, turning to lean into her Mother and weep softly into her shoulder. "Mum. Mum, I miss him so much."
"I know my love. I know."
"Every day I wake up and I remember and I lose him all over again. I don't think I can keep doing it." She sniffed. "It's not fair. I love him. I thought love was supposed to conquer everything. Isn't that what people always say?"
"Sweetheart, I know what you're going through. I lost my Pete, lost your Dad. I know that it aches everywhere, and you don't think there's any point in carrying on, and all you want to do is fall asleep and forget about everything. Forever." Jackie gave Rose's shoulders a gentle shake, "But you CAN'T. YOU CAN'T DO THAT. I couldn't do it because I had you, and I loved you, and I knew you needed me. And now I need you to do the same thing for me, because this time I need you. You need to live, need to live because they're not. You need to live because there's not just one person in this world who cares about you. I want you to promise me your going to try, try to get your life back. Because he wouldn't want you to be doing this. You know so; you're worth so much more."
Rose nodded, wiping her eyes and nose and rolling back her shoulders like a little girl who has to be brave about her first day of school. "I promise Mum."
And from them on she does try. She bakes with Jackie, she paints the nursery with Pete, she goes to visit Mickey. And bit-by-bit, her days are no longer a matter of surviving, but living. She looks forward to things. She is happy to find she has woken up in the morning. She starts to look for cars when she crosses the road, she makes sure that she knows exactly how much aspirin she has taken when she has a headache, and doesn't just knock it back carelessly.
When her little baby brother is born, brand new and painfully perfect, she is glad she is seeing him.
On the 212th day (yes, she is still counting) she goes shopping. As she fingers T-shirts and jeans, she hums idly to the soundtrack in the store, not really listening until a familiar riff fills her ears. And she laughs again, laughs at the irony and laughs at her pain and she smiles because she's living, and laughs because she knows he would be proud of her, standing beside her, throwing his head back in laughter too.
Thankyou for reading! Please Reveiw!