AN: Sorry for this little sap-fest. I think Jamie/Victoria has sort of become my OTP, mostly because of the scene at the end of Fury From the Deep (which, by the way, if you haven't already seen it for some bizarre reason, I suggest you go watch now, even though it only exists in animations and reconstructions). It took all my willpower to keep this from turning into an AU fic at the end. I don't own these characters, or the dialogue from Fury From the Deep (which reminds me: spoilers for that episode!). Enjoy!
Victoria sat alone in her room, thinking over the conversation she had with Jamie earlier that evening. Oh, why did this decision have to be so difficult? And he'd made it even worse.
"Are ye not tired?" he asked her, walking out to join her on the patio.
"No… No, I'm fine. Not tired at all," she lied as she wiped away the tears.
Why did she lie? She was so incredibly tired –not physically, per se, not at that moment; but her mind was strained. She could hardly think any more. Life had never been entirely normal, but travelling in the TARDIS had made it even stranger, and she was simply not cut out for it.
"Ye're still not sure, are ye?" It was more of a statement than a question. Victoria could tell he knew the answer.
"Yes, but it doesn't make it any easier, leaving you and the Doctor."
"Aye, we've been together a long time now." Jamie's voice was barely more than a whisper.
Indeed they had. She'd been on the TARDIS for about a year now. And Jamie was there for all of it, to protect her from danger. It was really the danger that bothered her. Another year with Jamie –an entire lifetime with Jamie- was actually rather appealing to her.
"Victoria… Do ye think ye'll be happy 'ere?" His voice caught just a bit, as if he were on the verge of tears.
"Well, I think so… The Harris's are really nice people-"
"Yes, I know that, but they're not from yer time, are they?" he interrupted.
"I wouldn't be at ease back in Victorian times. I have no parents or family left there anyway."
It was true, of course. She didn't have anything to look for in her home era. It wasn't that she particularly loved 1969, but she could live comfortably for quite some time without fear of the Yeti or the Great Intelligence or the Cybermen or anything of that sort; and, at the very least, she did have somewhere to stay, which was more than she could say for 1866. But, oh, how she would miss him!
"Jamie…" she called out.
"Yes?" He turned back to her quickly, eagerly even.
"You wouldn't go without saying good-bye, would you?"
"Course not. That won't be till the morning, anyway. Good night, Victoria."
"Good night, Jamie." Before Jamie left her, he gave Victoria a swift peck on the cheek. She quickly broke down to tears.
Of course, he hadn't said good-bye right then. Victoria knew full well that she would see him in the morning, before he left. She just couldn't go with Jamie and the Doctor, not after all the monsters she'd seen. It was just too terrible.
She had been mulling over the conversation for at least an hour. The clock struck midnight, and she heard a loud knock on her door. Now, whoever could be calling on her now? To be fair, she was still awake, still in the clothes she had been wearing all day, so she could hardly judge another for doing the same.
When she opened the door, she saw Jamie standing in front of her, his hair slightly ruffled and his eyes a little puffy. Had he been crying? Victoria opened her mouth to ask him what was wrong, but, before she could even make a sound, Jamie wound his fingers into her hair and kissed her.
Jamie had been in quite a state all night. How could she do this? What on Earth would compel Victoria to leave the TARDIS –to leave him? He'd nearly torn his hair out thinking about it, tears streaming down his cheeks in greater quantities the more he dwelled on it. He had to convince her to come back with them. She couldn't stay here, with people she hardly knew. He needed to act quickly, as he and the Doctor had every intention of leaving in the morning.
As the clock neared midnight, he walked solemnly to the room where Victoria slept, careful not to wake others as he got there. As he knocked on her door, his heart was pounding in his chest. He wasn't nervous, necessarily: either her decision would stay exactly the same, or she would change her mind and travel with him again. There was nothing to lose.
When Victoria opened the door, she was still fully dressed –not nearly the mess Jamie was. He couldn't help himself at this point. As she opened her mouth to speak, he bent down to her, raveling his fingers into her soft brown hair, and kissed her full on the mouth.
He could tell that she didn't expect it, and, as he pulled back, the look on her face was one of shock. She gestured for him to enter the room, which he did, and then she quickly shut the door.
"Jamie McCrimmon, what are you doing?" she whispered so as not to wake anyone else, her eyes fixed in a glare on his face.
"Ye can't stay 'ere, Victoria. Ye just can't." The tears were coming out again.
"And why not?"
"Because I'll miss ye." He put on his best puppy dog eyes, and her glare softened.
Victoria sat down on her bead, maintaining her poise, and patted the space next to her, indicating to him that he ought to sit. "Oh, Jamie, I'll miss you, too." As he sat down, she leaned her head against his arm. "But I must stay. I simply must."
"But ye don't understand. I love ye, Victoria. I love ye so much." He struggled to fight back tears. He could go into battle, fighting the redcoats, and it would hardly affect him, but he couldn't even sit here and talk to the girl he had grown to love without choking on words. "If ye stay, I don't know what I'd do."
"Jamie," she murmured, wrapping her arms around his torso, "I think you ought to know that I… Well, I love you too."
Those words were music to Jamie's ears. He couldn't even control himself, couldn't keep his lips from reaching down to hers once again. She didn't respond with shock or anger this time, opting instead to lean into the kiss. Jamie slowly wrapped his arms around her, his right hand pulling her entire body closer to him, his left caressing the side of her face. Victoria's arms stayed wound around his ribcage, holding her close enough that he could feel her heartbeat against his chest. When he finally had to stop to breath, Jamie smiled at her. She was now the one with tears streaming down her face.
"So, will ye come back with us, then?" he breathed, his thumb still stroking her cheek.
Victoria paused before answering. "Jamie, I just can't. You know I can't. There's too much danger out there, and I simply can't handle it. Not anymore." The tears were practically carving permanent paths into her face.
"Isnae there anything I could say to convince you to come with us?"
She nuzzled her head into his neck, sobbing. "Jamie, I love you, but I just can't live that way, never knowing if I'd make it out alive –if you'd make it out alive." Her entire chest was heaving against his. He smoothed her hair down on the back of her head to let her know it was alright, although he felt that he might never be alright.
He had tried his hardest, he supposed, but to no avail. He was not important enough to her to want to go back aboard the TARDIS. For a fleeting second, he considered staying there with her, but, if she didn't love him enough to stay with him and the Doctor, how could Jamie be sure she loved him enough to want him there anyways? At least he had this night, if nothing else.
Jamie gently leaned down to kiss the top of Victoria's head, rocking her lightly in his arms as she cried, until both of them had found the sleep they so desperately needed.
As she stood on the beach the next morning, watching the TARDIS being reloaded with its two crew members, Victoria almost considered running after them, swimming her way to that beautiful blue box. She had made up her mind though, and, if Jamie wasn't going to offer to stay with her, perhaps he didn't love her enough to make constantly putting herself in danger worth her while.
Tears welled in her eyes as she watched the TARDIS take off for the last time. Victoria didn't particularly want to turn away, to go back to the house, but it was also painful to watch Jamie and the Doctor leave her behind. As the box faded from sight, she finally found the strength to walk back to the Harris' house, wherein she continued the rest of her day in solemnity. Time would dull the pain, she told herself. Sooner or later, time had to work its magic.
"We can't just leave her," Jamie demanded, fighting back tears as he stared at the scanner.
"We are not leaving her, Jamie. It was her decision to stay," the Doctor replied firmly as he punched buttons and pulled levers. He could really get on Jamie's nerves sometimes; that was for certain. This day, Jamie was particularly sensitive to the Doctor's condescending nature. "She'll be quite alright with the Harris's. Oh, don't worry so much, Jamie."
"I'm not!" Jamie was indignant. "I'm just…" He couldn't tell the Doctor exactly why he was so upset about leaving Victoria, although he suspected the Doctor knew. It was one of the old man's quirks. "Och, come on; let's go." He sighed, turning away from the scanner. He couldn't bear to look out at Victoria anymore.
"Where would you like to go?"
"I couldn't care less." He stared at the scanner again, trying to detect any hint of movement from the beach. He hoped with absolute desperation that she would come running, or that the Doctor would steer the TARDIS to shore and force her back on board.
"I was fond of her, too, you know, Jamie." The Doctor was obviously reading his thoughts.
As the Doctor pressed one last button, the TARDIS took off, leaving the little beach behind, Jamie turned away, unsure that life aboard the TARDIS would ever be quite the same.