Ricky didn't love me.
Oh, the thought burned but I knew it. He knew how I felt and kept silent the entire time. There was a static charge between us; lightning I couldn't get too close to. It all began when I was six and he stood up for me on the playground. I loved him from that minute on and he knew. He knew all my secrets, even the ones I hid. We fought together in the Preachers. He believed in it, throwing his very soul into it. Then again he threw his soul into everything. It was sexy. But that didn't matter.
He didn't love me.
No, there was too much anger in him. I can't stress enough how much he wasn't head over feet. There was no room for me. No room for anyone as more than a friend. All I could do was follow and pine for him like a lost pup. There was a war going on between us and the corporation. Then one day, I meet up with him at his Grandma's, dragging him away- because hello, the rules, Ricky?- and he was so... Different. I thought maybe he was slipping. He was acting like he didn't know anything, passing off his visit as if he was testing us. He didn't even react when I said he was Most Wanted. The pleasantness during the ride back to HQ was almost too much; I could not stop grinning.
Of course, it wasn't Ricky. I should have known. I know better now. I did the scan and he was Ricky right down to the tattoo on his arm. But smaller things, no scar from the stitches he needed after that fight on the day we met. I checked nearly every inch. He had none of Ricky's scars- the physical ones at least. That was the only difference. It didn't make sense until later of course.
Mickey was his name.
I had to keep telling myself who he wasn't so I didn't go insane from there being two Ricky's. He was just as fantastic in build. Ricky had said that it was unnecessary to strip him down to his skivvies. But I was curious and wanted to be sure. He was perfect, except for the eyes. Mickey's eyes were different. They looked inviting, like a lost puppy. Ricky had the eyes of a Doberman, fierce like he would bite your hand off. Mickey looked like a Retriever in comparison. He joked, and I couldn't help but smile. Ricky was not amused of course but then again, not much amused him.
The way Mickey was with Rose made me warm up to the doppelganger quickly. Made me jealous and angry, too. Ricky did not fight for me. Not like that. The way he looked at her. I always wanted a look like that from Ricky. But he barely gave me a smile. I was pining for a version of Ricky that had room in his heart for me.
Then Ricky died.
When he said he was Mickey, it was like a nail had been driven through my heart. He was dead yet he had Ricky's voice. I looked at him and told him to shut it. He looked so sorry. But I couldn't take his voice, his eyes. I was cruel because he was not Ricky. Time slowed down and someone far away said there would be time to mourn. I wanted to ask him if he realized time had stopped. Ricky was dead. He said we needed to move on for now. For now… Didn't he mean forever? But they still had a war to win. They still had to fight. They needed me still. They needed all of us. Even Mickey in the end. He offered to help and looked me right in the eye. He was just like him. He pulled me in like gravity.
He said it and it was suddenly true. He would fight for them and would die for them… For me too.
Forgive me, Ricky. I know he isn't you.
When he suggested Paris I followed just as blindly. Because there wasn't lightning in that van, but a spark- just a spark- of potential. Not for anything sexual or whatever but you know- I got along with Ricky right? Why not Mickey too? For three years, I followed him. We were inseparable and my secrets poured out of me. I even confessed how I felt about Ricky. I don't know why I did, but he just hugged me and let me cry on his shoulder like it was the most natural thing to him. We talked about his world a lot, and I realize another major difference between Mickey and Ricky; Mickey never met me. He does not remember the day we met very well. He says it is really fuzzy, he remembered going to a wedding and that he was scared. Anything more than that and he just shook his head. He does know that was the day he met Rose's mom. It was the day she became his babysitter.
We fought the Cybermen together, along with Pete Tyler. We faced danger every day, but we did it together, so I wasn't afraid. Once they were gone life was supposed to go on. Then Rose came to our universe. She came back with us and I feared that I may lose him to her. Not that I had any claim on him or anything. I did start seeing less of Mickey for a few weeks but not by much. A lot of times he invited me along with him and Rose. I felt like I was third-wheeling it and I figured they would start shagging again after Rose could go a couple days without crying.
So imagine my surprise when he showed up on my doorstep right after their return home Bad Wolf Bay. The family had just up and left without saying a word to me, even Mickey. An expedition to Norway; of course they wouldn't invite me- it was a family affair. I thought he'd be comforting her, and trying to support her but there he was on the welcome mat, looking properly worn out.
"Three years. You and me have been at this for three years."
"Yeah, but it feels like longer."
He held up a six pack of beer and a bag with takeout boxes of fish and chips. "Three years exactly. You think I forgot?" That's when I got it. Celebration was in order. He remembered it had been three years since we started the fight against Cybermen together. I took the six pack from him and let him into my flat. There I had been all drowning in self pity and he remembered it was our anniversary… Of sorts.
"How is Rose doing?"
"Terribly. Losing the Doctor is… She's a mess Jake. Won't stop crying. She is with her family though, so she'll be fine soon enough." He sat on the couch while I looked around the kitchen for plates. The place was a bit of a mess since we use to travel all the time and I still hadn't cleaned all that much. It made sense now; he was here to drink and eat away the pain with me, not just celebrate. I felt a little used. But I was use to it. I could do that. "I keep thinking about all we could have lost. I could've been killed and I would have never…" He trailed off, watching me. "Now get over here. I need to emotionally barf here." My heart leapt and flopped I on the couch next to him; I had no clean plates anyway and I would much rather sit next to Mickey then clean some. "In our time line, I had a best friend named Rose Tyler. In this time line that friend was you."
"This another one of your 'theories'?"
"Shut it, I'm trying to be deep here." I started on a box of chips, eating them like a mesmerized spectator. He grinned, "But Ricky didn't fall in love with you. Just like Rose didn't fall in love with me." I nodded. Suddenly my flat was too small, Mickey was too close. I backed up on my couch. "Then we find our way here. Here on this parallel world. Like it was just reaching out for us… Like it was destiny."
I snorted, grabbing a beer. Mickey was always going on about everything happening for a reason. "So you're saying that time and space bends to something so small as that?"
Mickey grabbed one of his own, "It isn't small. It is what brought me here, and Pete and Jackie and what allowed the Doctor those five minutes. A love like theirs will always find a way. True love. Like Rose and the Doctor. I stood there and watched them on the beach say their goodbyes and just- I knew." He gulped down most of the can and looked at me expectantly.
I shook my head. "She's stuck here just like us."
"He'll find a way. But they aren't the point. We are."
That had me frozen in place right good. "What you mean?"
"In my world, I never met you. If I had gone through life with you, instead of focusing on Rose, I don't think I'd be here." He was in my face then. He touched my cheek, my neck. "What's meant to be finds a way with the resources at hand. Blimey, here I am blubbering on like the Doctor did."
I laughed nervously, "Are you saying that worlds nearly had to end just so it could all work out?"
"I love you."
There he was, freezing time again, everything but my heart. It was beating like a chorus of drums. "You do?"
"Yeah, a lot I reckon, considering I was straight before I met you. Ambiguously so, but still." He was looking nervous now. Looking over my face, searching. "Can I… Can I kiss you?" My brain died. All I could do was nod. He smiled that smile and pressed his lips to mine. It was amazing. Just as I had pictured it would be. It was the realist thing in the universe to me. It was real and magic and enough and not enough. When he pulled away I did my best to follow his lips but failed, "That was something." Yes something indeed. "How long have you waited for me to do that?"
I gulped, feeling the tiniest bit brave, and looked him straight in the eye. "Since I met you." I looked in his eyes and shook my head, "After being around you for less than a night I could tell the difference between you and Ricky. It's like being friends with twins. You notice little difference to help separate which is which. And I… There was just something about you."
He nodded, "Something on a level you just can't describe?"
I nodded. But I could have described it if I was able to breathe; a gravitational pull, pulling me in. Like standing on the Earth as it spins. Moving so fast you can't even tell. Maybe there is a God, maybe he smiles down and sets all events moving forward towards their natural end. Maybe God is great and good. People like the Doctor were catalysts. They did things. Made things happen. They ended things. And we would end someday. Whether by death or life, this would end. "I could have died two months ago and never told you that I loved you." But first I needed to kiss him again.
"I love you, too."
Somehow we stumbled to my bedroom without disengaging. We fell on my bed, wrapped up in each other. It was like any first time; filled with giggles and love. I traced every curve of him, like I was exploring a country I had only seen on a map. It was different, being allowed to reach out and touch him and having him touch me. How I never noticed that look in his eyes is beyond me. I was the only person who ever got that look. I wanted that possessive longing directed only at me and I hadn't even noticed it was. I never, in my life thought I'd be on the bottom, somehow that was fine too. He loomed over me like he was going to eat me up, bite by bite. I felt so wanted and loved. Then I elbowed him in shoulder by accident and he winced. I laughed and kissed my apologies 'til late in the night.
In the morning, we remembered the food and beer in the living room. I returned with it to my bed where we ate naked and watched the Catherine Tate Show like it was the most natural thing in the world. My bed was filled with crumbs and smelled like fish and sex. Strange combination, I know. It was right. Mickey was right. Some things just fall into place so perfectly; you have no better word then destiny.
Ricky didn't love me.
But he hasn't replaced Ricky. He's stolen my heart and made it new.