Disclaimer: All characters, aliens, and secret-organizations-not-mentioned-here-by-name are the property of the BBC, and thus, sadly, are not mine.

When the world was dark and quiet, Jack couldn't pretend. During the day, when everything was action and adrenaline he could hide, but at night it all faded away, and he was alone. No, not alone.

"You used to talk to me," she said. She was sitting on his desk, turning a scrap of alien gadgetry in her too-pale fingers. "You used to be happy to see me."

Jack didn't look at her. He didn't have to. He could picture her so clearly—that was what had brought her here in the first place, all those memories and emotions. Jack had thought the recollections would have been dulled by the years. Instead, they were amplified, drawn out to the point where she'd gained an almost physical existence.

She was perfect, so perfect that sometimes he forgot she wasn't real; it was easier that way.

"You're dead, Rose."

"That's what you think."

Cold fingers brushed his jaw, turning his head towards her. She was smiling, the playful, flirtatious grin that broke his heart. How many times could someone be broken and still fit back together?

"Jack, d'you really think I'm dead?"

Of course he didn't. She was right there. He smiled back.